No funk?

Wow this month is flying past me! I’m glad I have had a few moments to sit back and take it all in. This is one of the best times of the year, and to miss it completely because I was too busy, overwhelmed, or caught up in the chaos of Christmas would be a shame.

Marlo had her weekly bath, so I wrapped her up in a blanket and cuddled my 40 pound lap dog on the couch for a bit. She loved it. Even though she tried to get down a bunch. Billy didn’t complain, as he said it was an artful way to get around our “no dogs on the couch” rule, since she was on my lap, not the couch.

My Christmas shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped under the tree, and my Christmas goodies are made, cut up and stored in the fridge for later tonight when I will assemble holiday goody bags for my sweet clients, lovely friends, and family. This year I made rocky road and fudge. I think every other year or so I attempt to make fudge, and every time I am mystified how I could have forgotten how labor intensive and tough it can be. I followed the fantasy fudge recipe off the jet puff marshmallow creme jar, and stirred a pot of fat free evaporated milk, lots of sugar and butter FOREVER, then spilled chocolate chips on the burner, made a mess out of the marshmallow creme, and didn’t let the sugar mixture boil long enough so the fudge set a little on the soft side. The rocky road, however, was easy and delicious, so I will continue to make it long after this fudge recipe has been retired.

I just finalized my 26th birthday plans! I will be having dinner at the fabulous Burger in Santa Cruz, CA. It’s actually called “burger.” with a lower case b and a period. Funny right? Billy and I have eaten there a couple of times and were thrilled with our food both times. I am not a red meat fan, so I opt for a wood fired pizzetta or a turkey burger instead. They even make these awesome beer shakes. They have an entire wall menu dedicated to different burger creations, and tell you that’s just he beginning, they can literally do anything you want with your burger, you just have to ask. The restaurant is decorated with a zombie theme, but instead of thinking of eating brains, the zombie all have thought bubbles with burgers in them, very creative. They even project old horror and monster movies on the lobby wall, and play sports on the large TV above the bar. I am excited to eat there again and share this lovely gem with all of my valley dwelling friends who haven’t made the trek over the hill to SC to try out this awesome new installment.

The most interesting thing is happening this year surrounding my birthday. I am not in my usual funk that always makes December an unhappy month for me. I usually become withdrawn, moody, introspective and anti-social in the weeks leading up to my birthday on December 28th, and I never really know why. I get very excited for my birthday early on, usually in August, and start making plans for what I think would be a fun way to celebrate, but starting in October my enthusiasm wanes and I enter the funk right after Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why this year is different and I am my happy cheery self days before my birthday. The only major change that could be contributing to my happiness is my 3-5 day a week I workout, run, or go to spin classes, and the healthy eating I am trying to keep up. Maybe endorphins really do have that much going for them. I accept.

MGMT concert in Santa Cruz

So….I won tickets from listening to one of my favorite DJs Tanner on Channel 92.3 last week to see MGMT in Santa Cruz this past weekend. I thought it was awesome that I had recently met Tanner, and so soon after my old radio call in winning luck had returned! I guess I should preface by saying I used to win tickets to concerts, movies, meet and greets ALL the time, but haven’t won anything in years. I was so surprised when I actually  got through on the phone lines a few times and even more so when I was caller 13 and the winner! Yay, I won something!

I asked my friend Micaela to accompany me to the concert. Oh did I mention the concert was the same day as Vanessa’s wedding? I had had an early start time, and was a little tired, but I was excited to actually get to see live music, so I was looking forward to the evening, and I wasn’t disappointed. Micaela and I went to dinner at Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz, an amazing vegetarian and vegan version of typical diner food in a total hippie SC vibe. I ordered the Santa Fe Salad, and Micaela got the vegan breakfast, while we shared sweet potato fries and a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Everything was super tasty and amazing, I was really impressed. I actually had a hard time settling on the salad because there were so many yummy looking options.

So I have to tell you, Micaela is freaking hilarious and has so many quotable Micaela-isms that all night I was DYING to pull out my phone and plug in all of her words as my twitter and FaceBook updates because she was cracking me up. We had a great time cracking each other up and making comments on everything around us. I just adore Micaela! I think I have since we met in Geometry class in high school way back in 2000-01. I sat behind her and even then was obsessed with hair, and would twirl her long curls with my pencil. She HATED it, and one day turned around and went to twirl my bangs with her pencil, but stabbed me in the eyelid instead. She was absolutely horrified, but I started laughing because it was so unexpected! She let me play with her hair anytime I wanted to after that. I even did her hair for prom 🙂

As for the concert itself…I think I was expected a little something else. Maybe it was because we were in Santa Cruz, or maybe it was just because MGMT is super psychedelic and trippy, but there was a lot of  pot smoking going on, and I was pretty irritated, but that’s the norm when it comes to concerts. The opening band was HORRIBLE! I think I understood all of 5 words they said they entire set, and that was at the very end when they said stayed tuned for MGMT or something like that. I swear they looked like the event promoters had picked them off of the dirty Santa Cruz streets because they looked like typical SC hippies and put instruments in their hands, but they were from Australia. The distortion and reverb or whatever effect they were using on the mic was so bad…not a fan. I didn’t even catch their name!

MGMT was much better, but I think I was hoping for more from them. They played all of the radio hits like Time to Pretend, Electric Feel (my fav!), Congratulations and ended their encore with Kids much to the crowd’s delight. It was a hippie trippy dance party complete with body paint, body jewels, hi-lighter fluorescents, and 14 year olds. We felt just a tad out-of-place, but it was all good. I didn’t take many pictures because I think it’s pretty annoying when other people take pictures during a concert. Here is my concert photo 🙂 They had a really cool backdrop that they projected images and video onto, which made for a very cool stage effect.