Friday, December 31, 2010

(maybe this year will be better than the last)

It’s back… my list of defining songs for the year! (you can see last year’s here)

Here is a list of songs that “define” my 2010. Not necessarily my favorite or the best…but simply what songs will forever be tied in my mind with the past year. Many of them weren’t even released this year. They are in the order of when during the year I listened to them the most (for example the first songs define the first months of 2010, the last songs define closer to the present). I also included a brief explanation for some of them.

1. West Coast – Coconut Records

I talk out loud like you’re still around…

2. Our Love Is Here To Stay – Ella Fitzgerald

Gotta love Ella. After I made this my text tone in January I think my brothers never wanted to hear the song again…

It's very clear, our love is here to stay - Not for a year but ever and a day.

3. Kick Drum Heart – The Avett Brothers

I won't look back anymore, I left the people that do – It’s not the chase that I love, It’s me following you.

4. Old Number Seven – The Devil Makes Three

Tennessee Whiskey got me drinking in heaven.

5. Here Comes The Summer – The Fiery Furnaces

You knew it wouldn't be too soon, We'll have to wait until it's June…

6. A Call from the Vatican – Penélope Cruz

From the musical tribute to Fellini’s masterpiece, this song will forever be tied in my mind to the stress and thrill of Oscar season. It also sealed the deal for making Penélope Cruz my number one celebrity crush – holy sexy!

Who's not wearing any clothes? I'm not, my darling.

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox AKA Petey’s Song – Jarvis Cocker

From Wes Anderson’s most recent film. Enough said.

Shot the tail off the cuss with a fox-shooting gun

8. Gotta Have You – The Weepies*

I try to make you mad at me over the phone…

9. Little Secrets – Passion Pit

This song brings back dancing around the honors floor lobby in the wee hours of the morning when I camped out there after staying awake for days on end. Hoorah slap-happiness!

Now painting rainbows on my ugly face…

10. The Gambler – fun.*

I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight.

11. Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons

It was your heart on the line, I really fucked it up this time.

12. Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) – Lady Gaga

Nothing beats a road trip to Indiana with a car full of dudes belting Lady Gaga. Trust me on this one.

Cherry Cherry Boom Boom

13. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros*

My defining song of the year! From late night youtube videos to hot summer days driving with the windows down, from dancing at parties & shows to missing the hell out of people, this song is guaranteed to put a smile on my face and make me feel alive!

Laugh until we think we'll die, Barefoot on a summer night - Never could be sweeter than with you.

14. The Kids – B.o.B. feat. Janelle Monae

Was permanently stuck in my head all of director’s training.

Will you run or will you shine your light? Tell a story of live and try?

15. 20 Miles – Deer Tick

I think of your smile, I'm in love with your teeth.

16. Coin Laundry – Lisa Mitchell

Have you got a little old house & a lemon tree?

17. Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle

Probably my favorite new repeat-after-me song. Enjoyed best when surrounded by seventy 8-year-olds screaming it at you.

They say in heaven love comes first, We'll make heaven a place on earth!

18. Daylight – Matt & Kim

I don't pick up my phone, because in the daylight anywhere feels like home.

19. Coquet Coquette – Of Montreal*

Saw them in concert, they had a new album come out this year, and let me tell you what – I don’t think Kevin Barnes has ever let me down.

With you I can only see my black-light constellations & other shit I don't think I have the language to say

20. Dammit – Honeywagon

A repeat song from last year – but a cover! Bluegrass covers of blink-182, yes please!

I've been here for too long to face this on my own

21. Pizza Day – The Aquabats

I have probably quoted this song to every person that lives within 50 miles of me. Sorry about that. I just can’t deny Travis Barker’s former band when they are singing about burritos and pizza.

The Best Day of the Week

22. People – Andrew Jackson Jihad

And people are my religion, because I believe in them.

23. Four Chords – The Axis of Awesome

That's all it takes to be a star.

24. Son of a Gun – The Vaselines

I don’t know how I only discovered The Vaselines this year, since they were Kurt Cobain’s “most favorite songwriters in the whole world”. I think I owe a thank you to long hours doing homework in 76 Coffee for this one.

The raining always starts when you go away.

25. I Like Giants – Kimya Dawson

Cause all girls feel too big sometimes, Regardless of their size.

26. Levi Johnston’s Blues – Ben Folds & Nick Hornby*

I'm a fucking redneck, I like to hang out with the boys, play some hockey, do some fishing and kill some moose.

27. Man Overboard – blink-182

You think the blink coverband would be enough blink-182 to define my year? Not a chance.

You can only lean on me for so long…

28. Time Warp – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

In honor of all the Rocky Horror shows I’ve had the opportunity to participate in this year! Let’s continue doing the Time Warp into 2011 you all – Woodland Celebration Cinema every Friday & Saturday night!

It’s just a jump to the left…

29. Bed Intruder Song – Antoine Dodson feat. Kelly Dodson

I will shamelessly admit that this song gets stuck in my head all the time.

He's climbin' in your windows, He's snatchin' your people up

30. Frankie’s Gun – The Felice Brothers

My favorite band that I’ve been introduced to this year. Thanks Mister Luke Dennison.

Called my mama told her in the dresser there's ten or twenty dollars but there ain't no lesser - That's for to take my sister to the picture show.

*= songs I’ve heard performed live this year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

(a merry little christmas)


A Christmas at the Martin’s:

Our Christmas celebration starts Christmas Eve, which involves all of us dressing up and heading to Ohio for a big party with my father’s extended family. Before we leave for the party there are always a few photos taken of us kids dressed up in front of the Christmas tree. The party itself is always a jolly time of hugs and kisses, cocktails, Christmas cookies, glimpses of football games, and catching up with people we see once a year. Once we get home it is usually pretty late, but we always do the gift exchange among siblings. Then sometimes some will slip off to church for the Christmas Eve service, and it is always my responsibility to make sure there are cookies and milk left out for Santa before bed.

Come Christmas morning, whichever kid is up first quietly wakes up the other two kids and we gather around a strand of sleigh bells at the top of the stairs and shake them to wake up our parents. Then we all go downstairs as a family to see all the new presents under the tree. Once the coffee is started and the dog is taken out, we commence present opening. We start with all the presents under the tree, and save our stockings for very last. Christmas breakfast always consists of cinnamon and orange rolls. Christmas afternoon is spent at Grandma’s with our cousins, aunts, and uncles. Every year the cousins exchange a movie, and after family present opening all the cousins watch it together until Christmas dinner is ready. After a delicious Christmas dinner we all begin to part ways, and that just about concludes our Christmas festivities.


I hope that all of you have a Merry Christmas, and are able to share it with people you care about.


And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” - Luke 2:9-12

Thursday, December 16, 2010

(deprive my sleep, cause theres no love like apathy)

Since this semester is moments (one exam) away from is a tribute to all the crazy studying that has occurred. HOORAH finals, and HOORAH winter break!


[Jake & Me working hard in the DeVos]

[Mary, taking a study break]

[Christie workin hard on the living room floor]

[Carley, enjoying our awesome kitchen floor]

[Ben & Myself, putting on our thinking caps]

[Me & Kaytee, pooling brain power and downing coffee]

[That one Luke kid, who happens to be my favorite study buddy]

I'm now putting this fried brain and overly caffeinated body to bed. Off to camp tomorrow... goodnight world!


I'm nicotine
I'm coming clean
I fooled the crowd
when i made it sound
like i was more than ready.

strike up the band,
deprive my sleep,
cause theres no love
like apathy.
the bell that tolls
rings loud enough
that it should have
woke us up
-The Format

Monday, December 6, 2010

(home is wherever i'm with you)

As the semester is coming to an end (woohoo last week before exams!), I would like to take the time to recognize how great my house is. Since the start of this school year I have been living with 3 absolutely incredible young women: Carley, Christie, and Mary. Together, we are the awesome Underwood girls.

It has been a grand experience living together and sharing our lives with one another. From late night silliness to early morning chats, tears and uncontrollable laughter, dirty dishes to ridiculous photo shoots, I have gained and will always treasure so much about "us". Not to mention the fact that we have a super rad sidekick - Harvey the bunny.

A collection of house memories:

[at KHvR dorm banquet last year, taking our first "house" picture]

[having an Exotic Fruit Party!]

[Us (even Harvey!), in front of our house on a warm fall day]

[out on the town, celebrating Carley's birthday at Build-a-Bear!]

[at our Christmas party, in fabulously festive dresses]

I love you girls. Thank you for all of the compassion and support you have shown me over the last few months (and years) of our friendship!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

(let it snow, let it snow, let it snow)


We had some baby snow flurries in November, but today is our first real, genuine, big-flaked, stays-on-the-ground SNOW.

What a happy way to celebrate December 1st.



And... it looks like there's more to come!

So friends, dig out your warmest socks and favorite hot cocoa mugs because winter is officially here!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

(thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat)

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that all of you have had a grand day full of food and fellowship.

My day has been lovely...I got to spend the morning with the Dennison family and the afternoon/evening with my family.

The blessings that I am most thankful for include my loving and supportive family, boyfriend, and friends. They are what makes this world so beautiful to me.


A Series of Portraits: The Martin Family Thanksgiving

Friday, November 19, 2010

(awkward and innocent, not belligerent)

It's been one of those weeks... of those really hard weeks.

Not one where I drown my sorrows with a flask or actually take myself seriously in fake glasses, but one where being a little goofy is what I need to do to feel better.

I need to sleep more, eat healthier, clean up my belongings, and do more school work.

I need to "STRESS LESS".

I need to listen to pretty songs with nice lyrics. [taking recommendations]

I need to keep on keeping on.

I need to remember to smile.


I just got back from another successful night at 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'. Rice flew, toast was tossed, we did the Time Warp was grand. This event really does mean a heck of a lot to me, and I appreciate all who came!

I went as Janet this time:
[Me & Dan as Janet & Brad]


Best Fortune Cookie Ever:
[Listen, I'm allowed to be a little cheesy and ridiculous...I've had a hard day dang it.]

But it's true! Luke is coming my way very soon (a matter of a few days!), along with our good friend Anne. I'm super excited!

Alrighty, beddy time now. Goodnight world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

(you should call me sometime)

I just killed yet another phone.

Thanks to funds from my lovely housemate Christie, I have cheap little replacement phone. For some odd reason only some of the contacts transferred over. So, if you are reading this please just send me a little text letting me know who you are/your number? Thanks!


"You should call me sometime, I won't answer but, at least I'll know you care
How will you know it was me?
You think I've got caller ID?"
-Of Montreal


On a different subject, check out this sweet French guy, Sliimy:


Saturday, November 13, 2010

(with voyeuristic intention)

Yesterday evening my housemate Carley was working on a project for her photography class, and managed to rope many of us in as models.

Since she's a fancy pants photographer, she was shooting alas, I don't have copies of the final photos (though she did spend her morning in the dark room, so maybe some soon?). I do have some some crappy pictures taken on my cellular telephone though of all the fun we had during the shoot:

[Carley & Ben setting up the shot]

[Ben & Me, enjoying the tropical fruit]

[Carley eating a banana - made me think of Nick Hagen]

[Carley & Me, probably my favorite picture from the shoot...]


Later in the evening Carley, Luke Purds, and I went to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show! We even got Purds in a dress, tights, and wig as Janet (dammit).

Then I wrote this letter:

Hello and greetings to my dear friends!

As many of you know, I tend to avoid facebook completely at all costs, and would only use it if something INCREDIBLY important came up. And now, it has. I have been presented with the opportunity smack-dab in front of my face to make one of my biggest dreams to come true, and I need your help to do it!

What is this huge life-long dream of mine you may ask? It is to become part of the weekly show of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The cheap theater (Celebration Woodland) is showing it indefinitely every Friday & Saturday at 10:45 p.m. I went to the first showing tonight with my friends Carley and Luke, and it was lovely. The man running it was an amiable middle aged man and Rocky Horror veteran. The theater wasn’t very full, the callbacks were limited (Asshole. Slut.), the energy was lacking (though we all enjoyed the timewarp), and overall it just didn’t quite have the feel of the other Rocky Horror movie/live experiences I’ve been to.

The point is, that this could be our chance to seize! OUR TIME TO SHINE. I think we could really do something with it. We can learn the callbacks, bring the props, go to the shows, dress up – and dare I even say learn the parts and act it out? This show needs the gusto, the energy, the creativity, and the sexuality that I know we all can bring! Even if we could just do one big show, my life would be made.

SO, if you are here in Grand Rapids, let’s make some plans, get together, and DO THIS. And if you don’t, well…come visit and join in! PLEASE! Email me at if you’re interested, and let’s go from there!

Don your fishnets, dig out your feather boas, dust off that copy of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ (for inspiration), and get ready to DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN!

*P.S. If you are a Rocky Horror virgin, do not be shy! You are more than welcome to join in on the festivities!*

Friday, November 12, 2010

(banana phone)

This is my lovely friend Jo:

[it is the first picture we ever took together]

Jo has been one of my best friends IN THE ENTIRE WORLD since the summer of 2008. We were co-counselors at camp in the Ottawa village together! The silly/unfortunate part of our friendship is that she lives allll the way across the ocean in England.

We have many excellent memories together - late night giggle fits, crazy campers, and heartfelt conversations to name a few.

She came and visited America at the end of last summer, which was spectacular, but boy do I miss the hell out of that girl!

The reason I'm writing this post about Miss Jo Byram, is because today is her BIRTHDAY! So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JO! I LOVE YOU!


Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Banana phone I've got this feeling, so appealing, for us to get together and sing. Sing!


(Also, I didn't update the ol' blog yesterday, but it was my dear housemate Carley's I wanna give shout out to her too!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

(our love is here to stay)

This weekend I had a very special guest come visit me: my best friend, my boyfriend, my lover - Mister Luke Dennison! It was a very spectacular time, as his visits always are.

There was laughter and tears. He read to me, we ate delicious Thai food, baked an apple pie, hung out with old and new friends, sipped coffee, went for a cool autumn walk, scrambled eggs, slow danced to jazz in my kitchen, shared a bottle of red wine, watched a movie, munched on pretzels with beer, and saw BEN FOLDS in concert, just to list a few of the activities that took place.

On Saturday we spent no less than 3 hours in Meijer, waiting on my prescriptions and trying to get insurance figured out. I felt pretty darn lucky to have Luke there to hold my hand and keep me calm while my patience slowly unraveled.

[meijer turned our brains to mush]

[silly, anti-boredom picture]

We baked an apple pie, which I had never done before, which made me pretty proud.

[yummy pie!]

Kaytee & Asa came over Saturday night, which led to a good cuddle-puddle and a splurge on pizza with my housemates. This fall has been entirely emotionally exhausting, and it’s so nice to be surrounded by people I admire for their beauty on the inside and out, and to feel the love just radiating.

[hoorah photobooth!]


I’m quite certain one of my favorite moments of the weekend was when we were making our dinner Monday night and Luke took my hand in his, drew me close to his chest and slowly swayed me back and forth. The smell of freshly chopped onions mixed with the olive oil simmering in a nearby pan, and Ella’s voice sang out of the speakers alongside the sound of Louis’s trumpet. Looking into Luke’s eyes and being so close to his heartbeat made me feel warm, safe, loved, and home...



It's very clear our love is here to stay.
Not for a year, but ever and a day.
The radio and the telephone.
And the movies that we know.
May just be passing fancies and in time may go.
But, oh my dear, our love is here to stay.
Together were going a long, long way...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

(how far leaves could really fly)

And so begins November - the month of frosty mornings, not shaving, novel writing, and Thanksgiving break.

I think it will be a good month.

This afternoon I hung out outside with Jake & Dan, which was very nice.

As we had a spitting contest and talked about ridiculous things, Dan pointed out how we are just like we were when we were freshmen. And while yes, we are quite similar, I look at the fact that my friends have internships and are graduating & that I actually go to my classes, and I realize that things are also a lot different. And I'm quite okay with that.

Ok, I have an exam to study for, so I should go. But, LUKE DENNISON IS COMING FRIDAY! & I'm rather excited.


Monday, November 1, 2010

(he did the monster mash)

Happy Halloween! This October has been fantastic, and Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'm just so so so happy right now.

I think my favorite part of the holiday this year - even better than the parties, decorations, dressing up, horror movies, pumpkin carving, cider, donuts, children's books, caramel apples, cookies, pumpkin beer, Witch's Brew Wine, Goblin Juice, and spooky music - was handing out candy to the adorable kids trick-or-treating today. I love kids, and they made me miss my campers.

I also really really enjoyed the halloween party I went to last night. Lots of good old friends, 3 great bands, fun costumes and dancing!

Picture time:

[Carley & I were mimes at a halloween party a few weeks ago]

[pumpkin patch adventure friends]

[pumpkin carving party!]

[yes, my pumpkin is covered in glitter & feathers & rhinestones. There is a reason I work with 8 year olds.]

[our spectacular jack o'lanterns]

[Alyson as a gypsy, Jake as a dog, Luke as Lucifer, and Me as Brigitte Lin in 'Chungking Express']