Sunday, August 9, 2015

Quests- Paso Robles,CA/Lindsey Stirling

I have decided to start a new series on the blog called Quests, and its basically a way for me to share my little road trips or adventures with you while keeping with my WoWish theme. For my first Quest, my husband and I went to see Lindsey Stirling at the Vina Robles Amphitheater in Paso Robles, CA on August 6th, 2015.

It was a very last minute decision to get tickets, but my mom was wanting to take the kids for that weekend anyway, so we just asked her if she'd take them for an extra night. Luckily, she agreed and we got to see one of the best concerts we've ever been to. On the Ticketmaster site, the time for the concert was listed as 7pm. We made it there about 7:15pm because of some traffic issues. Lindsey's first opening act, Olivia Somerlyn was almost done with her set when we arrived. Since my husband and I were super hungry, we ate the overpriced vineyard food (which was delicious) and sat behind the walls around the amphitheater seating (so the vineyard club members can't see into the amphitheater and get a free show lol). so we didn't get to see any of her performance. She sounded good though, and had a bit of a Taylor Swift vibe- very happy and grateful and loving of all of her fans.

The next act I was pretty excited to see, and that was Robert DeLong. They play Long Way Down on one of the local radio stations (the same one that has the creeper DJ that lusts after Meg Myers), which is a huge (and welcomed) departure from what they usually play. My husband had no idea who he was, but loved his show and was a fan by the end! Robert DeLong is the epitome of a one man band, but not in the cheesy, cymbals on the knees, monkey on the back kind. His show was visually stunning, and it was done in a video game type way. It felt very Ready Player One (for all of my fellow book lovers), and it was great. If you get a chance to see him perform, do it!

Robert DeLong 

And was Lindsey's turn. I am a huge fan (one of my first Mixtape Monday's was dedicated to her), so I was very excited to see her! Her show was so amazing! It really made me regret not keeping up with my violin playing. Not that I was super spectacular when I did play, but seeing her play did make me miss it a whole bunch. The show was very visually stunning, which you'd sort of expect, since she's playing the violin and not singing. But everything was great, her dancing was terrific, and I loved her costumes. She even did a medley of video game songs for all the gamers out in the crowd. What was almost as interesting as her show were the people in the audience. There was such a mix of people, it was really incredible. Lots of kids, quite a few older people, and a lot of people in various stages of cosplay. 

My phone died pretty much right after her set started, so I don't have a lot of pictures, but that's okay. The experience was enough. Before one of her songs (Transcendence), she shared that she wrote it because she had gone through a period of time a couple years ago where she was really depressed. She said that she didn't like who she was at that time, almost didn't recognize herself. She shared that she had gone through all these things to make herself a happy person. She tried therapy and happiness exercises...basically had to train her brain to not be depressed anymore. And its not like she was minimizing anyone's struggle with depression, she said that she still has rituals that she does to keep herself in her current state, so that she doesn't slip back into that depressed person. Its not been a secret around here that I suffer from depression, and while I have yet to find a pill mix that works for me, or to see a therapist (because the one I was referred to seems to never have the time), hearing that she found a way out of her depression gives me a tiny sliver of hope that I can eventually find a way out of mine. And I wasn't expecting that from her concert at all. 

After the concert was over, we got some food from the slowest Taco Bell ever (and I never eat from there, but it was like the only thing still open) and then drove home. That was an experience in itself, because when we were close to town we almost hit this lady that ran into the street for no reason! My husband swerved to miss her, and she ran at the car again, and he swerved again, and then she disappeared back into the trees by the side of the road. I checked the news the next day, to see if she'd tried that with anyone else and they weren't so quick to miss her, but there was nothing in the papers, so I hope she got to wherever she was going okay. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Poppin' Off- Summer Movies

Happy Friday everyone! I haven't made it to the movies too much this summer, but within the past few weeks I've managed to make it out a few times and I thought I'd share my reviews with you. *As always, if you haven't seen any of these movies but plan to, and you want to do so spoiler free, you should probably not read this until you see the movie. Spoilers have a tendency to pop out sometimes.*


I really liked Ant-Man. Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) is your average dude who gets out of prison and through the help of his friends (Michael Pena and T.I.), manages to stumble into Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) house and ends up stealing a suit that can turn him into a tiny human that can, among other things, help him control ants. Ant-Man fights an Avenger (Falcon), a bad guy (Yellow Jacket) and gets the girl (Wasp). The movie is filled with comedy, more than the average Marvel movie, but there is a good amount of action as well. And for everyone that said that Paul Rudd couldn't do it, you were mistaken. Ant-Man didn't require the casting of a Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth because that's not the type of superhero that Ant-Man is. He's much more of a Mark Ruffalo type, and Paul Rudd pulled it off flawlessly. I look forward to seeing him with the reset of the Avengers. 

So...about Pixels. It's probably one of the worst rated movies of the summer (seriously, read all of the reviews, the hate is real and also very entertaining), but I didn't think it was all that terrible. Adam Sandler makes a particular type of movie, and I think you have to know and accept that before going into anything that he does. With all that in mind, Pixels was cute. It had all of the video games I grew up with, and Ashley Benson (Hanna Marin on PLL) even has a small part as Lady Lisa. Yes, its very unlikely that Kevin James or anyone remotely like him would ever be President of the United States, and of course its super unlikely that aliens are going to see a time capsule of footage from a video game contest in 1982 and come to Earth attacking as said video games, but the movie is still fun. And its kinda fun to think of Olaf (Josh Gad) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) running around being big ole nerds and fighting these alien video games too. There have been so many articles about the movie about how it missed its chance to take on serious subjects like how our lives and technology are changing, but when does Adam Sandler ever make serious movies? I think I've seen him in one....maybe. Anyway, its a fun movie if you don't go into expecting too much and like retro games and songs from the 80's.

Tom Cruise is once again Ethan Hunt, running away from bad guys, being seduced by a hot chick who can't decide if she's on the good side or the bad side, and receiving comic relief from Simon Pegg and the rest of his team. I like a good spy/action film, and this one did everything it was supposed to do. In the previews alone, you learn that his team is being hunted by a group just like theirs called the Syndicate, and in the film you learn that his team gets disbanded and Hunt disappears, becoming a wanted man by the CIA. The Syndicate is a group that causes major catastrophes around the world; like power plants blowing up, corporations going bankrupt, starting civil unrest in third world countries.....everything conspiracy theorists think governments do in real life. Of course, with everything that happens, Hunt's team has to reunite to save him, and there's plenty left open at the end to suggest that this is not the last we'll see of Ethan Hunt and the IMF. 

Which movies have you gone to see this summer? I still really want to see Trainwreck, Magic Mike XXL, and Paper Towns. Have you seen them, or have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!