Monday, July 22, 2013



Six months ago today, we lost you.

You slipped away from us in the morning, as I was sleeping.  Sara rushed to the room I was in and woke me up- "Allie. You need to get up. Dad just died."

I woke up, dazed, freaking out, and took the few steps it took to get to your room, where we all sat and cried.

You looked more peaceful than I've seen you in years.

It couldn't have been easy, going like that.  Gasping for air like a fish out of water, relying on dozens of pills a day just to keep your pain at bay and your body functioning (if that's what you want to call it).

The last conversation I had with you is kind of a blur.  I had a nasty cold, and you were coming in and out of consciousness.   You took off your oxygen tubes and offered them to me because you heard me coughing.  I laughed and said "no, I don't need them" and you asked why- "because I have a cold, and you have lung cancer, dad."  You smiled, put them back on, and fell asleep briefly again.

The next morning was the hardest morning of my life.  Doctors and nurses came in and out of the house, along with the closest friends we had, offering us more love and support than we could have ever asked for.  I stood in the kitchen as they brought what was left of you downstairs.  I didn't want my last sight of you to be your lifeless body going into a car that was headed to a funeral home.

The rest of the day whizzed by, but it felt like the longest day ever.  We couldn't believe it actually happened.  We were expecting it within the week or so... but I was still shocked to lose my daddy.

Thank you for being the backbone of our family, keeping us together when we needed you most.  You have lit up the lives of most people who have met you.

Thank you for being the best Dad us girls could have ever asked for, and the greatest G-pa, and the greatest husband.

You are missed like crazy, but we are learning how to stand on our own two feet again.  It sucks not being able to call you on the phone, or go visit you in your room when I come home for the weekend, or write you a dumb letter anymore.  But I'm learning.

I love you, Dad. Plus one.
-Miss A

Saturday, July 20, 2013

{ summer playlist 2013 }

Today, I am copying Coralie's post called "Cor's Bitchen Summer Tunes 2013".

Music and I have a long 19-year-long relationship.  What started out with loving Raffi when I was little turned into so much more as I got older.  I rarely go a day without listening to music.  I'm pretty sure my niche for it comes from a combination of my dad and Coralie.  My dad knew every song, ever, aside from the more modern stuff, and even then I would be surprised when he would tell me "did you hear that new song on the radio?" because I didn't know he listened to the radio, other than NPR.  Coralie is one of those people who also knows every song, ever, but has the extra talent of knowing every word to every song ever.  Nine times out of ten I will ask her "hey, do you know this song?" and she will give me her elaborate history of the song.  Watching her sing in the car, and dance at concerts, is one of the most entertaining things to watch, because as she mentioned in her own blog post "I feel music. Emphasis on the fffff sound."  And she does.

For me, when it comes to music, I love just about every genre.  Some more than others- I'm not crazy about country or R&B- but if you were to scroll through my iPhone you would find what would probably be one of the weirdest mixings of music ever.

I make a playlist every few weeks, including new songs and old.  I'll find a bunch of new songs I like, download them, and then go to make a playlist but there will be some songs I've forgotten about that I simply have to add because they have probably been neglected.

Without further adieu, here's my playlist: 

1. Babel | Mumford & Sons 

I'm pretty late with this song.  I heard it last summer, on a ride home from the zoo in Seattle back to Bellingham.  I remember my friend Sammy telling me about Mumford's new album, and playing a song, and I liked it but by the time we got home completely forgot about it (and I regret doing so).  I first started loving Mumford and Sons in the summer before senior year, when Little Lion Man was starting to appear on more and more radio stations.  I went to Wisconsin, and Nathan and I were driving along a road with a whole lot of corn and Little Lion Man came on the radio, and ever since then I've been completely in love with Mumford.  White Blank Page quickly became one of my favourite songs off of their first album.  This May, I had the incredible experience of going to Sasquatch music festival at the Gorge and fell in love with Mumford all over again.  What's great about Mumford is that- in his own words in the Rolling Stone interview- you hear what you see.  Plus, Winston Marshall- who had me questioning whether or not the banjo was a sexy instrument to play- had a pretty incredible body roll that was extreeeeemely entertaining to watch.  Swoon.

2. Life is Cinema | Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Ohh, Macklemore.  Where do I begin with you?   I could go on and on and on about you.  I heard about you all through high school.  In high school, I was pretty snobby when it came to my music, and thought I hated rap.  Freshman year of college, I heard my friends all talk about you and how awesome you were.  I moved back to Bellingham in August of 2012, and sitting in my friend's new apartment, I heard Thrift Shop for the first time within the first few days of its release.  I was intrigued by the hilarity of the song and the completely catchy tune.  Not long after, I could spit every word right back out as I was blasting it through the speakers of my PT Cruiser.  I bought The Heist the day it was released and my next favorite was Can't Hold Us, which I again blasted nearly every day on my way to work.  I fell in love with nearly every single one of your "older" songs- the ones my friends talked about that I thought I was too good to listen to.  I was wrong.  I'm sorry for putting you off, for so long, Macklemore.  I think I'm making up for it with my private obsession with you nowadays.

As I mentioned earlier, I went to Sasquatch music festival in May.  Somehow, I hadn't ever listened to Life is Cinema.  McKenzie and I were in the very front- so close we both high fived Mr. Haggerty- and all of a sudden the crowd started singing "I got soul, but I'm not a soldier". It was one of those moments when every single person in the crowd was singing along, and you feel like you are part of something bigger than you.  One of those moments when you have no cares in the world.  A little confused, I asked McKenzie why, and she didn't know what song it belonged to either, aside from the original Killers' tune.  A couple weeks later, I was again blasting my music in my car (no more PT Cruiser!) with Macklemore on shuffle.  I heard the beginning of Life is Cinema (which had been on my phone for months, apparently) and thought "wow, how haven't I heard this?" once again.  Finally I heard the "I got soul, but I'm not a soldier" once more and since then I have had this song on repeat.  I'm almost glad I wasn't familiar with this song before Sasquatch because now every time I hear it I try as hard as I can to have that same feeling I had when every person in that crowd was singing along.  
I have a few more Macklemore songs that I just can't get enough of on my summer playlist (White Walls, And we Danced, Cowboy Boots) but I figure one is good enough for this blog post.  I got really lucky and was offered two free tickets to Macklemore's first of three shows in Seattle this December, and will most likely be hearing this song again, and will still be mentally heading back to the Gorge when Life is Cinema is played.  (Thank you, Michelle!!!)

3. Best Day of My Life | American Authors 

This song is just too damn happy for words.

This song came to me from an 8tracks playlist that I played over and over and over again spring quarter, just to hear this song.  I jammed to this as I walked home from finishing my last final of sophomore year.  I jammed to this when we were on our way to Rome.  I jammed to this while sitting in front of the pool on the cruise ship.  I'm not entirely sure what my best day is so far- I have a few in mind- but this song will probably pop into my head on some important days.  If you need a pick-me-up, this song will lift your spirit at least two inches.  Guaranteed.  

4. Alive With The Glory of Love | Say Anything

Every morning, I wake up with a song stuck in my head.  99.23982% of the time, it's something I've listened to recently.  One day I woke up with this song stuck in my head.  
This is a song that makes me think of ninth grade at Tahoma Junior High School.  Say Anything was mostly known for "Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too" at the time, but there were a few kids who thought they were cooler than others and would find a song other than the most popular one by the band and put it on their MySpace to show off their Really Good Taste in Music.  I was one of those kids. 
I probably hadn't listened to this gem since I was about fifteen years old, and one morning, I woke up with the beginning of Alive With The Glory of Love stuck in my head.  I loved this song so much when I was fourteen, and sometimes it's good just to become in love with it all over again.  So much has changed since I was fourteen- but Alive With The Glory of Love still gives me the same chills when I hear it now.  

5. Do I Wanna Know? | The Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys made their way onto my playlist years ago with "I Bet You Look Good on The Dancefloor".  It was one of those songs that I really, really, liked but wasn't in love with enough to keep up with the band and when they were making new music.  I'm talking about Sasquatch a lot here, but it was a music festival, and this is a post about music, so sorrynotsorry.  When I found out they would be one of the headliners I thought to myself "oh, I bet they would be fun to see" and holy fuck was I right.  The Arctic Monkeys came on after Built to Spill (who I had never ever heard of in my life and could probably go another 19 years without listening to them), and before Macklemore. They opened with Do I Wanna Know?, which was unreleased at the time of Sasquatch.  While they were playing the song, I remember thinking "google their setlist when you get home and download this song".  I couldn't find it anywhere except for live versions that had been played at other concerts and music festivals.  I eventually gave up, but about a month or so ago, I noticed a bunch of people on tumblr reblogging posts about the "new Arctic Monkeys song" and realized that THIS WAS THE SONG I WANTED TO DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE TIME.  

If you try to tell me this isn't one of the most sexual songs you have ever heard in your life, you can just sit there in your wrongness and be wrong, while I listen to it over and over again in my tacky $10 bright green over-the-ear headphones because the best way to listen to this song is as loud as you possibly can

6. Pompeii | Bastille 

Nathan is my best friend.  He knows me through and through.  He knows exactly what face I am making when we are talking on the phone and he says something that he knows I will react to.  He could tell you probably every little thing about me (except my favourite colour because I'm not even sure of it myself).  This being said, he knows when I will like a song, and when I won't.

Nathan first told me about Pompeii when I told him I was going to be visiting the actual ruins of Pompeii.  I gave it a listen quietly because I was at home and needed to be quiet for whatever reason and thought "meh".  I decided to give it another listen after my Europe trip on full blast while I was reminiscing about the actual Pompeii.  Ladies and gentlemen, this song does not have the same resonance while it is played quiet.  It needs to be listened to as loud as your ears can tolerate.  There is something about this song that makes it a million and two times better when you are in your car on a sunny day with your windows down (but only slightly down because too much wind is uncomfortable and AC wastes gas) that makes you feel like it is summer.  This song will probably remain number one on my summer playlist until I wear it out from listening to it too many times in my little VW beetle.  Plus, the singer is a total cutie.  Pardon me while I watch the music video time and time again. 

7. It's Time | Imagine Dragons 

If you haven't heard this song yet, get out of that rock you are living under.

I was in ninth grade when I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I fell in love with it as soon as I read it.  It's almost as if Charlie is talking to you as you are reading it, and you can easily delve into his life, and imagine you are right there with him throughout the book.  That being said, when I found out there was a movie coming out, I thought "they better not mess this up".  When I saw the first trailer, I heard a drum beat, and the song that came after it.  I went on a googling rampage trying to figure out what song it was- and it was It's Time by Imagine Dragons.  May 2012 was filled with It's Time.  It was the end of freshman year of college, and I walked to the beat of It's Time as I was walking home from the last days of my classes.  I listened to it probably about 10 times as I was driving home after moving out of the dorm.  

July 3, 2012 we found out my dad had relapsed once again.  As a family, we were well versed in this.  It was a thought that was constantly in my head- not if, but when he would relapse again.  This time, it was in the lymph nodes.  Fourth of July I went with one of my very best friends, Tawny, for some much needed Boomer's Burgers.  That was our Fourth.  Summer sucked knowing my dad was sick again.  If you knew my dad, though.. you would know his spirit.  You would know that no matter how sick he got, he refused to let it get to him.  He always had a smile on his face, or a joke to tell.  He would light up the room no matter how sick he got.  He and I would always play music together- well, he would play the guitar, and I would sing- and we would go back and forth about which songs we should learn next.  In September or August, before he got too weak to play anymore, I showed him It's Time.  I could tell by his face that he loved it just as much as I did upon his first time hearing it.  He grabbed his guitar, started strumming along, and I started singing along.  This is the last duet I ever played with my dad.  I set the song aside for a little while as he got sicker because I knew it would make me upset.  In January, when he passed away, this song made its way back into my Top 25 Most Played within a few days.  For me, It's Time has been there in both my ups and my downs.  It signifies how far I have come within just a year, and how much my life has changed. 
"I'm never changing who I am."

Friday, July 19, 2013

{ vacation bucket list: verdict }

A day less than a month ago, I wrote a post called Vacation To-Do List, in which I wrote-DRUM ROLL- a Vacation To-Do List.  Now, this was about a week or two before our trip to Europe.

I tried writing a post that had every place we went to and what it was like, but we honestly went to too many places and I would ramble on about them all but eventually every description started to sound the same.  Plus, I have an avid 0 readers of this blog, so I didn't see why I was putting in so much effort.

All in all, the trip was amazing.  I could not have asked for a better way to spend a good chunk of my summer.

My favourite place was London, for sure.  I've been looking forward to going to London since I was little- I don't know what fascinates me about it so much.  Maybe it's the fact that 9/10 things I like are from there.  Accents, Doctor Who, the Beatles, etc.  Emphasis on the accents. Swoooooon. 
Santorini, Greece was a super close second.  The atmosphere was so peaceful and chill in Oia, a tiny little town on the island which was home to hundreds of the white houses with blue roofs that people think of when they think of Greece.

Instead of the millions of words that no one probably wants to read, I figured I would revisit the trip by seeing what I did and didn't cross off from my bucket list.

Bold indicates I did it!

1.  Visit the Colosseum 
didn't get a chance to visit- only had one full day in Rome, which was filled with the Vatican and then a tour of Rome at night, but we drove past the Colosseum. Does that count? 
2.  Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain

3.  Become an Italian pop star a la Lizzie McGuire (kidding! but that would be pretty cool).
4.  See the white buildings of Santorini, Greece

5.  Visit Pompeii

6.  Try authentic Italian pizza

apparently, in Italy, they serve their pizza with fries. weird.

7.  Order a glass of wine in Italy

8.  Take a water taxi in Venice

9.  Visit the London Eye, and actually go on it (I'm absolutely terrified of Ferris wheels)

10.  Eat fish & chips in England

fish and chips will never ever taste as good as they do in england.

11.  Trafalgar Square
We passed it on the bus tour- didn't get to stop and look around!

12.  Find a BLUE PHONE BOX! 

I have found my TARDIS.  Unfortunately, the Doctor didn't pop out.  

13.  Do something silly in front of the guards with the hats in London. You know, the ones that don't smile. (Extra credit if they do smile.)
14.  Italian espresso!
15.  Order a beer in London

16.  Snap Matt Smith's suspenders. (Just kidding. But not really.)

17.  Gelato!

I probably had too much gelato. Oh well, it's not like every day you go to Italy.

Okay, that's it for the Vacation To-Do list.  I got most things done- others, well, I'll just have to go back.