Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kelsey's Favorite Things (Part 2)

As I sit here 1 week after my 26th birthday my mind starts to wander over how great this last week was. Paintball, Kinect, Table Rock, Bardenay, Tim McGraw, game night, bonfires and The Sandlot. This was an awesome week of fun, and I won't forget it.
My friends are rad. Boise is rad. The world is rad. Things are just awesome. That's pretty much what I have to say about it. Another year has passed, and I hopefully will make this one as great as the last 25.
So, as promised, here is the second half of "Kelsey's Favorite Things."

14. Quoting Movies and T.V. Shows

I know some people that aren't impressed when people can quote movies or t.v. shows. I however am not one of those people. I love it. I can quote Anchorman and The Big Lebowski for days. Literally. (That right there is a quote from Parks and Recreation.) I dunno why, it's just something that I do. It sucks sometimes cause then I have to explain my jokes, but still, it's something that I enjoy lots!

15. Americorps

The best year of my life was spent in Americorps. I did it for 2 years, but the year that I worked at Whittier Elementary here in Boise was the best year ever. That job was hands down the best job I've ever had. I have liked all the jobs I've had, but this job taught me so much more about life than I was ever expecting to get from it.
For those that don't know, Americorps is basically the U.S. version of the Peace Corps. It's a government funded program that sends ordinary people into different parts of the country to assist in several different things. Some may be environmental, some may be educational, some may be medical related. You get paid peanuts for what you do, but the experience is MORE THAN WORTH IT. If I could be in Americorps for the rest of my life I would do it in a heartbeat.
I got to work with K-6 graders teaching them basic math and English. I think I would have enjoyed any school I worked in since I was able to do what I love, which is teach, but Whittier made the experience so much more special. The kids that attend Whittier are the poorer kids in Boise, and over 60% of them are Hispanic. When I was there 98% of the kids received free lunch. Not just reduced, but straight up free. I have never worked with kids that were more eager to learn or happier to be at school than the majority of those kids. Also, the teachers and the principal were so welcoming to us, (I had worked at another site before, not at a school but at a Boys and Girls Club and while I got along well with my supervisor, the rest of the staff didn't seem to enjoy my presence and it was just a very stressful and critical situation) and it was so refreshing to be appreciated for the job that I was doing. I learned so much more from the kids and teachers there than they ever learned from me, and I am soooo thankful for them.
And I'm not only thankful for my experience in Americorps, but I am thankful for the program itself. It has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and is helping people grow in positive ways still. I will continue to support this program until my dying day, it has done so much for me and those associated with it. So thanks Judy, Nina, Jana, Char, Nate, Brittney, Amanda, Stacey and Richard for everything!

16. Bardenay

Oh Bardenay. You are my favorite restaurant in Boise. Possibly ever. The food is delicious, the portions are huge, and the price is cheap.
The setting in the Basque block is perfect for Spring and Summer evenings and the Eagle location has an awesome river front patio. I've never eaten anything there that wasn't good, and I have the menu memorized I've been there so many times.
They also have a huge drink menu, which for most people that is awesome, but since I don't drink I have no idea how great they are. I bet they are awesome though, cause nothing there is bad. Oh, and they distill their very own vodka rum and gin. I honestly don't know if that's something cool or not, but it sounds rad to me!

17. Hyperbole and a Half

Holy shit balloons (thanks for the term April) this is the funniest most amazingest thing I've ever read. Chanel introduced me to it, and I love it! It's creative, it's hilarious, it's full of fail and it is just all around entertaining. It's a blog written by Allie Brosh where she retells stories of her past and present and animates it with pictures and massively exaggerated hilarity. There really isn't a lot to say about it, just know that it's amazing. Check it out.

P.S. Some favorite blog posts include, but are not limited to the following:

and finally,

18. Quiet Time With God

I love Jesus, and I love spending time in the word of God. It helps me feel closer to my creator, and helps me with everything in my every day life. To just sit outside in the sun and read my bible or to turn on some music and read or to just sit quietly and think and pray. I love everything about it. It is something that I have to admit I can do more, but I absolutely love doing it. Reading the word helps direct me in my life and helps me grow as a person. It also helps me to understand those around me and how I can reach out to them. Really what it does is solidify the beliefs that I have in my heart and I helps me remember how lucky I am and how amazing my life is.

19. Photography

It's pretty simple, I like to take pictures. I always have a camera with me, no matter where I go. I have a point and shoot I carry in my purse for the unexpected moments and I have a DSLR that I bought a few years ago. One day I will be a good photographer I hope and will be able to make a some small pocket change off of the pics that I take. Time will tell.

20. Jimmy Johns

I love sandwiches. SO MUCH. I have tried to make delicious roast beef or turkey sammies at home, and it never turns out as great as the restaurant sammies. Jimmy John's IS SO FREAKIN GOOD. It also helps that they are right downtown, they are open late, and they deliver. I think it's the bread that gets me, it's so chewy and delicious. If you have a JJ's in your town, you best get to eatin there!

21. Youtube and Break Videos

I used to never care about Youtube. I knew what it was, but it didn't seem like a fun way to pass the time. I'd rather do anything but watch people on my computer. And then I started working with Christian. This kid spent his days sending me links to random videos that were awesome. Anything from breakdancing videos to trailers for new video games to daily vlogs of people I'd never heard of. I started to really get into the whole Youtube idea and now I love to look up random stuff on there.
Along the Youtbe lines is Break videos are more focused on pranks or being funny or shocking. I love it. Break is where I saw the Bed Intruder song for the first time, and where I can watch hours and hours of Parkour fails. Basically, the internet is awesome, and it helps pass the time while sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day. (Just don't tell my bosses that haha.)

22. Laughing

When I was in high school I remember my friends constantly getting annoyed with me for laughing. They would always say "you laugh at EVERYTHING." I don't think they meant it in a bad way, but I always felt bad about doing it. But now, I don't feel bad anymore. I love to laugh. I don't see anything wrong with laughing. Yes, there are times where it's inappropriate, but it's still fun. And who the hell likes propriety anyways? I really do laugh at everything, that is something that I have come to find out about myself over the years. And like I said, I am totally ok with that. I laugh at other people, I laugh at myself, I laugh when I get hurt, I laugh when I or anyone else farts, (especially that one. I can't fart and NOT giggle.) I laugh when I get frustrated. The list goes on, but you get the point.
I have been told by 3 different people, if not more, that they don't laugh nearly as much as when they are around me. That used to make me feel uncomfortable, but now I accept it as a compliment. I like to help people be happy, because you only have one life and you should spend it being happy and loving what you have.

23. Tiberius the Scooter

When I was 13 I drove by a Yamaha shop and saw a scooter for the first time. No, not a Razor scooter, but a gas powered 250cc "beast" of the cycle world. I knew right then and there that I needed one. I spent the next 10 years of my life pining away for a scooter. I don't know what it was about them, I just really really wanted one. I have honestly never wanted anything ever as bad as I wanted a damn scooter. When I was in high school I actually found a specific one that I wanted and printed off a picture of it and carried it around with me until I graduated. It was my dream scooter- a Derbi Predator LC. Google that ish, it was the tight hotness when I was a teenager, and I needed it!
So, for 10 years I worked different jobs and continued to pine away for the day that I could get a scooter. I moved to Boise when I was 20 and decided that it would be a great place to finally get a scooter, cause there are several months here that are scooter worthy compared to Oly. The problem with that is that I worked for Americorps making $700 a month, so there wasn't a lot of wiggle room for saving. Then when I was 23 a chance meeting with a person at church (who turned out to be BSC, but that's beside the point) referred me to a job at Supervalu. I got the job and started making bank. I decided right then and there that it was finally time to make my number 1 life goal complete. So I went down and tried to buy a scooter, but was rejected because I didn't have sufficient credit. (I still to this day don't have sufficient credit, I've never taken out a loan for anything but my car-because I had to have a car- and I paid that off in 2 months) I went home that day crushed to see my dream dashed, but knowing that it would still happen one day. Then a few days later I was at my dad's house and his in laws were there. We started talking about how much I wanted that scooter and they said that they would give me a loan for the amount of the scooter. I was ECSTATIC!! I took them up on it and I went down 3 days later and bought myself a scooter. I rode it home that day beaming and grinning from ear to ear. I had made a goal that I set when I was a kid come true.
I've had that scooter now for 3 years, and I love him so much. Tiberius is an example to me that if I put my mind to something it will happen, I just have to be patient.

24. Rap

My love for rap music runs deep. Whenever I tell people that I love rap they are surprised. Which to me is funny. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh that they are so surprised.
I love the beats and the bass and the fast rhythms. It's just so good. However,I am picky about the rap that I listen to. I like to get down to some gangsta rap from time to time, but in general I like rappers along the lines of Lecrae or Atmosphere or Grieves; rappers that I can relate to I guess. I love any one of the Rhymsayers crew, Aesop Rock, Lecrae, The Cunninglynguists and tons more.
My favorite rapper of all time has got to be Lecrae. He's a Christian rapper, which I still think is a hilarious term. I didn't even know that something like that existed until I was like 19 and I thought it was the worst thing I'd ever heard of. And then a kid at church told me I should check out a dude named Lecrae. I was older at this point, 24 in fact, and decided to give it a try. I was BLOWN AWAY by this guys talent. At first it took a while for me to get used to someone rapping about Jesus, but then I became comfortable with it and now I love everything about it. He is bringing people to Jesus through his works and it is so refreshing. His sound is so good; It's got hard beats and deep lyrics.
I love how it gets me pumpe up. I just love rap.

Some favorite tracks:

Lecrae; Prayin for You-

Lecrae; Truth-

Atmosphere; Not Another Day-

Atmosphere; Sunshine-


Grieves; Lightspeed-

25. Stephen Colbert's "Friday"

Dude. I remember when I first watched this video. It was on Break a few days after it aired. And I was SO disappointed in my friends for not sharing it with me sooner. This is one of the top 10 greatest things I've seen ever. I don't even have words for it, it's just that amazing. Take a looksie here:

26. Birthdays

In case having an entire week of celebration for my own birthday didn't give you a clue as to how much I love birthdays, I will give you 3 more facts of how much I love them.

1. They are awesome
2. They are the 1 day a year that I think a person should be able to do whatever they want, no matter what
3. It's a celebration of YOU! Who doesn't like that?

Basically, I think birthdays are amazing. I will always make a big deal about my birthday, because it's the 1 day a year that I think I am allowed to be selfish and think only of me. And I like to make a big deal out of friends birthdays too, cause you need to be celebrated too!

So, there ya have it. 26 of my favorite things. I prolly won't decide to do this again, it took way more time that I had ever imagined. If you read this whole thing I would appreciate it if you wrote "fishsticks" in the comments section :)

P.S. I'm REALLY not as self centered as I seem. I read through this again and I'm like "man, I really like myself. I'm a db." Seriously, that's what I thought. But I really am not as conceited as I may seem. Love you! (Really, I do!)

Kelsey's Favorite Things (Part 1)

So, in honor of my 26th year of life, I figured I'd share some of my all time favorite things with you. There is a wide variety of stuff that I've enjoyed over the years, and this will have some current likes and some past likes. Either way, you should all be able to relate to something, and learn a little more about me and my awesomeness. :)

1. Puma Socks

Yes, this might seem weird, but whatevs. I am a person that enjoys wearing socks. I don't mind being barefoot, and when the time is right I do, but in general, I like to have my feet covered. And the BEST socks to keep my tootsies warm are Puma socks. They have the right amount of stretch and the right amount of thickness that they are just so cushy and perfect. And they are cheap too. (I buy socks ONLY at Ross. Fo reals.)

2. Dr Pepper

Honestly, how can you NOT like this beverage. It's like taking every awesome thing you've ever tasted, putting it in a can and making it fizzy. Even if you don't like pop (or soda, whatever) you should still love this drink. It's the best!

3. Anchorman

This is the second greatest movie I've ever seen. The humor in it is so simple. It's just a great movie to sit down and watch without having to think but still be entertained. The writing in this movie is hysterical, I mean seriously, how can you NOT laugh at "you are a smelly pirate hooker!" or "the human torch was denied a bank loan." Fo real peeps, I believe it's Will Ferrell's finest work.

4. Any Type of Nintendo Game System

I like video games. I think they are a fun past time. However I am very picky about the games that I like. I don't like RPG's, not too big on aliens or First Person Shooters either, but there are a few that sneak through. Even with all that I don't like, I have always liked all Nintendo systems. Honestly, you can't go wrong with Mario Kart. Ever. Like eva eva eva.
My brother had a Nintendo when we were little, but I don't remember it too well. I do remember however getting a Gameboy when I was 11 that I saved and saved and saved for and that thing lasted me through high school (at least when my mom wasn't playing it.) I also remember trading in our Sega for a Nintendo 64 in 7th grade. That was what sealed the deal for my love of Nintendo. The games are so simple. And they continue to be simple games that don't get me all stressed out and competitive. Oh, and they just continue to get better. Seriously, the Nintendo was rad, then the SNES was awesome (and still is!) then the N64, which was insane, then the Game Cube (ok, ok, not that awesome) and then the Wii, and now the frickin Wii U? Man, they are epic. Always one step ahead of the game, and always doin it right. Annnd Nintendo rant over.

5. Safeway

Dude. Safeway is the best. Growing up in Oly, there were 2 stores. Top Foods or Safeway. No one cared about Albertson's or QFC or Mega Foods or anything else. It was one or the other. Safeway had the best candy sales, the best deli, the best errythang. And when I say Safeway I specifically mean the Westside Safeway. There's so many memories. (Bri, you know what I'm talking about!) Ah, Safeway, how I miss thee.

6. Nike Free Everday Shoes

I like shoes, but I'm not fanatical about what shoes I wear. If they are comfy I'll wear them. When I was in Austin a few years ago for ACL we got poured on for an entire day and I was muddy up to my elbows. I didn't know it was gonna rain the whole weekend, so I one pair of shoes. We went to get me some new shoes and I found some shweet Nike's that looked cool. I'm not usually a fan of Nike's, since i have normal sized feet and their shoes are for frickin bionic people with no toes or something and they don't fit. But I figured I'd give it a shot, and they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn EVER. I will never buy another pair of tennis shoes that are not these shoes again. Seriously. I can't say anything bad about them, they are so amazing.

7. Indie Music

Oh boy, where do I start on this subject. I have gone through so many music phases in my life. When I was younger I liked anything that was played on the radio; so it was awful 90's music like Next and Hole and PJ Harvey. Then I expanded into country music, and that lasted until high school. Oh and all the awful rap my brother made me listen to (Busta Rhymes, DMX, Method Man). Now don't get me wrong, I love rap, but the rappers he liked back in the day were awful.
But I digress. The point of this is that I love Indie music. I don't love it because it's "hipster" or "cool" or "obscure" or whatever, I like it because these guys want to play music, and they do it with heart. I want to name so many bands, but I will stick to a few, because let's face it there is prolly only one of you reading this, and to list out every single one of them is a waste of my time. 5 bands/artists that I never get sick of listening to are:

1. Sufjan Stevens
2. Dawes
3. Band of Horses
4. Olin and the Moon
5. The Head and the Heart

I could listen to music by just these guys for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. It just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside ya know?

8. Select Television Shows

I don't watch a ton of tv, but I do watch some shows. I don't have cable and I just Netflix anything that I feel like should be watched. I said Select T.V. shows because there's so much on that just isn't really worth watching. However, there are 4 shows that I would buy on DVD and watch over and over again because they are just that good.

First, Scrubs. This show is hysterical. People knock it a lot because it got all "serious" in the later seasons, but I thought it was amazing. One of the best tv show's I've ever watched. It's hilarious, it's well written, it's dynamic and it's unique. There are few things that make me laugh EVERY time that I hear/see them, but JD saying "eeeaaaagggllleee" or Turk saying "you mean why's there silverware in the pancake drawer whu huh" gets me EVERY DAMN TIME (Just like the cornballer.) Fo real.

Next would be the first 3 seasons of The Office. Michael Scott is so damn awkward and Jim and Pam are so adorable and Meredith is so inappropriate and Creed is just so crazy that you can't not enjoy the first few seasons. I don't know anyone that has watched Jim and Pam in the second season and not fallen in love with the adorableness of them. Lately the show is very meh, but in its prime, it was a fantastic and there was nothing like it around.

Then Arrested Development I don't know anyone that has watched this that hasn't enjoyed it. I love it for all the reasons you love things that are awesome. GOB, Buster, Lucile, Lucille 2, George Michael, EVERYTHING. The whole show is so clever. I have seen every episode at least 3 times and it just doesn't get old. It's hard to put into words what makes it so awesome, you really should just watch it and fall in love like everyone else that is smart :)

Lastly is Parks and Recreation. Seriously, what happened here? At first it was just a show that was on and I never watched it. Then I started watching it and it was hilarious. And then all of a sudden this season it turned into the greatest thing I've EVER seen. EVER. I love everything about this show. Ron Swanson is my brother's favorite tv character of all time, and he's close to the top for me. I don't think I've ever seen a tv show that has made me laugh harder than the Ron and Tammy episode. The whole time I was thinking "WTF Is going on?!" but I couldn't stop laughing. The cornrows, the missing mustache, all of it. And Andy is one of the funniest things to come to tv in years. He's so oblivious and kind hearted and fun, it's just so refreshing to watch something as ridiculous as this.

9. Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm

I have always considered myself a connoisseur of chapstick (yes, I know this is a brand name, but that's what I call it). I spent many a year trying to find the perfect kind. I've found some that are really good, and others that are ok. But this chapstick is the best I've ever used. It smells good, it takes away the chap, and it lasts forever. Oh, and it doesn't fit in my pocket comfortably so it can't go in the washing machine!

10. Shaycarl/Shaytards

If you haven't heard of Shaycarl or the Shaytards, you're missing out on happy. I had heard of him before, but I had no idea how fun he was until Christian sent me a video one day. Since none of you know, Shaycarl is a vlogger that videotapes parts of his everyday life and puts it on Youtube. Sounds boring I know, but once you lay eyes on this big bearded dude you will not be able to look away. He's got the cutest kids, the hottest wife, and the best personality of anyone. He's just so loveable that you can't not watch. It brings a little bit of awesome to each day watching them.

11. Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is my happy place. There is just something about it that is so comforting. If I want something sweet but don't want the sugar, it's the perfect treat. If I want to eat but can't because it's too late, I drink some chocolate milk. It helps me sleep when I'm tired and relaxes me at the end of the day. I don't know what it is, but chocolate milk is one of the greatest inventions in the history of man.

12. Olympia, Washington

Oh Olympia. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to grow up in such a beautiful place. I didn't like it much growing up because there was "nothing to do" but whenever I go back to visit I fall in love with it all over again. Moving away has definitely given me a new perspective. There is so much there to experience, and it has the small town feel that I love, while still being rather large and within quick driving distance to both Seattle and Portland. I love the port, the bay, the West Side, Eagan's, Meconi's, downtown and yes, even the Greeners and hippies. It's just a great place to be, and it always brings back great memories when I go visit.

13. Slam Poetry

I discovered Slam Poetry when I was like 14 I think. I am sure it was Def Poetry Jam that introduced me, but I'm not sure exactly. I like poetry to begin with, but when you have people tearing words apart with the emotion that slam poets do, it puts the likes of Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to shame. There are 2 poems that cut through me every time that I watch or listen to them. One is by Shihan called Flashy Words. The next is by Taylor Mali, called What Teachers Make. Links below.

Flashy Words

What Teachers Make

So if any of you are still reading this, thanks! It's pretty cool that you would stick through all of this. I didn't realize there would be so much, so this is just the first half. The second half will come later on. Again, thanks for actually reading this, love you!