Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mixtape Exchange 2011 (the sequel)

Dear 28,
Time to get mixtaping! See full details HERE and read more below.
Here are the rules (in list form of course):
1- Email me at xo.lp.blog@gmail.com your name + mailing address by January 6th if you'd like to participate.
2- You will receive an email with the name + mailing address of your mixtape buddy byJanuary 10th.
3- Pull together your favorite tracks of 2011 and make your playlist.
    3a- One song per artist please (Yes. I listened to Watch the Throne for about three weeks, but one track from the gods of hip hop is plenty.)
    3b- Try to compile a list that's about 60 minutes long. (Check out herehere and herefor inspiration)
    3c- All songs should be from 2011. (I know you just discovered the power of Bieber'ssmash singleBaby, but it wasn't put out in 2011, so keep it off the list.)
4- Burn your mixtape on a CD. 
5- Send out your carefully packaged best-of-2011 mixtape to your buddy by January 30th. (I know last year some folks didn't receive their hotly anticipated mix. So be sure to send it this year. It makes people happy.) 


Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Is there a trick to putting your car in reverse?

Dear 28,
It happened. Likely the most adult experience of my 28 years of life (or something like that).
It really was time. I mean the Focus (RIP) sat at Drake Garage more in the last three weeks than it did behind the stoop. We picked up my darling car (hindsight makes everything seem sweeter. I'm choosing to only remember the good times in that gold Ford), and drove off to Smart Honda, where she'd be laid to rest.
You see, the Focus decided that once parked, she would just refuse to go in reverse. One final malfunction, but she carried me safely to the next ride in my life.
Finally crossed off #21

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I want to be a shining czar.

Dear 28,
I'm running for Social Czar* of Des Moines. How bizarre.
The Des Moines Social Club [DMSC] is holding their first "Faux Caucus" and they've asked me to join the race. In addition to achieving my lifelong dream of being cool, (True. See photo below. While those glasses may now be considered hipster, in '89- uncool) I'll have the chance to make a donation to my favorite place in all of Des Moines, The Des Moines Art Center [DMAC]. In order to give the big gift, I need some big votes-- here's where you can help!
Want to support the DMAC and the DMSC?
(Very similar acronyms. Both are awesome art-promoting organizations that make DSM a super place)
Oh and make me cool (see photo again. think Sally Jessy Raphael)
Vote. There's 13 nominees. Again, only the final five will have the chance to campaign for their charity. Many of my competitors have campaign videos and cool slogans or sell tshirts. (I've even been called a candyass.)

See you at the BASH. (Buy tickets for that HERE. The final five also speak at the event. So that should be interesting.)

If you're an out-of-towner, Vote anyway. I need you.
Thanks for your help!

*Social Czar | social zär; (t)sär | (noun):
1. a title for a fancy person who wins the Des Moines Social Club's Faux Caucus. 
2. a person with great authority or power, or at least someone who gets a bathroom named for them.
3. most importantly a way to get a bunch of donations for the Des Moines Art Center.

Mixtape Exchange 2011

Dear 28,
Remember this?
It's coming back. And soon. The xo-LP mixtape exchange returns. More details coming right after the holidays. Start preppin your playlist.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A real live rock show.

Dear 28,
No vacation is complete without a rock show. After feasting on Nick's famous "tacos*" and sharing a moment of tequila, we took a cab through the ghettos of Uptown to the Aragon.
(Thank you for all the photos Tim.)
So the tickets said 7pm. And they meant it. It was about 7:38pm when we made it to the ballroom, which looked an awful lot like a Dario Robleto piece, and the Local Natives were already ON STAGE. (gasp. noooo. gasp. watch checking. twitter search. gasp.) We missed the opening opener, Wye Oak, which was an unfortunate surprise, especially after reading what the AV Club has to say about their album. They must have played a short little set but heard that they "rocked quite hard." 
I have a thing for the Local Natives. We've bonded on many Muscatine road trips. So seeing them was the highlight of the evening for me. Especially hearing this one. We witnessed about 8 songs (I think we may have missed one or two) and then waited for The National to emerge.
Pointing at something and accidentally making a mustache.
A man was crazy body dancing next to us. So that was awesome. It was a little like a sauna in the star-covered Aragon.
(my blackberry took this picture. which is not good.)
I wasn't completely sold on the National pre-show (Like I said- I came to see the Local Natives) but damn they put on a real live rock show. The stage video stuff was pretty awesome. The lead singer carried himself like a bigtimer. I was enjoying the light show, the vests, the inaudible banter.
And then-- oh then there came the encore. I should first admit I don't really care for encores. It's become so standard that there's no "ok-we'll-play-just-one-more-song-because-you-love-us-that-much" magic. But then the National encored. and WHOA.

Overall- impressive. And I added another outta state concert to the list. Thanks JEN for coming with me. And the Paluchs, my new vacation buddies, that book run from the bus was so exciting.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marine Drive Getaway.

Dear 28,
These digs are unbuster. So are Jen and Nick.
yes. we are all wearing the same outfit.
Megabus-ed to Chicago for an extended stay. Kicked the celebration of a vacation off with what Jen calls the "best pizza ever" and although a near fistfight broke out over delivery time, Pizza Rustica was quite tasty.
Hitting the lanes at the Diversey River Bowl with some Muskies. Then there was the Dose Market and meeting the Buckshot Sonny boys. A visit to giant Marilyn. (Seriously dudes. Why stand under her skirt? It's not that funny. Stop it. This article agrees.)
Then we went all-in holiday: Christkindlmarket. Mulled wine. Lots of glass ornaments. And German accents. And the commemorative boot mug.
Then there was brunch at Orange, shopping on Michigan Avenue, accidentally free whiskey and KATIE TIME (jenga. jenga. jenga.)
Then the tour de fancy places. Hancock. Trump. Hub 51. Great views of the chilly city. A ginger drink with flowers. An amazing (and recreate-able) brussels sprout salad.
Then there was the National+Local Natives show (more on that later). And breakfast with Jake. Whew. What a perfect trip to the Windy City. Thanks Jen and Nick-- you're terrific hosts.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yesvember recap.

Dear 28,
Yesvember has come to a close, and as expected, the month dazzled me. A couple bits to note- there are indeed only 30 days in November. Good thing I picked up on that in the original November post "28 challenges. 31 days. One month of Yes (and a wee bit of stress) because I can't keep saying no to the blog."
Mid-27 I wrote what might have been my favorite post of the year about what I've learned in the process of writing my little love letter. And a little over a year later, I'm writing admittedly less. (Currently I’m writing on a moving bus. With Tim and Gretchen and Garrett's popcorn. And it’s two weeks after I should have posted this. Because a mid-year post should actually be posted mid year.)
The thing about this year: I’ve still been doing really cool things. And I’m not just writing that so I sound really cool.
There was that great show in Omaha (where we slept at the classiest casino this side of the Missouri), and the time I hosted scotch club (and purchased $250+ worth of scotch with my 15% discount), and when we watched zombies takeover the East Village (and ate burgers named for them), oh and I printed my postcards (but we all know that by now), and once I was in a band for a night (this is worth repeating. a true riot of rhythm), I saw three couples wed (aw), I skipped out on a camping trip (for a good reason. I promise), there was that front row dance party with Mayer Hawthorne ($6 tickets and sweet soul beats), and for about six weeks I was workin out at 5:15am (the most shocking fact of them all.)
All that cool stuff was never really written about. Maybe I’m too busy enjoying the year to thank her. Or maybe I’m just lazy. Or maybe having the internet at home really doesn’t encourage me to write more. But the truth is I'm having a super cool 28th year. 

1. Try a new bourbon.
2. Make a pie for Thanksgiving.
3. See the Hawkeyes play live. (It's #13.)
4. Stir up something out of the "Cook with Jamie" book you couldn't live without.
5. Peek inside the Basilica of St. John.
6. Renew my passport.
7. Create a line of XO-LP Holiday cards.
8. Eat at Cafe di Scala.
9. Decorate the Stoop for Christmas.
10. Build a human pyramid.
11. Read a book. (This just can't seem to happen)
12. Go to the Des Moines Symphony.
13. Master the art of winter layers. And fearlessly wear tights.
14. Cheer on the Bulldogs at a basketball game.
15. See a play.
16. See Des Moines' Bass Pro Shop. (If it's cool in Springfield...)
17. Walk across that Center Street Bridge.
18. Take more photobooth photos.
19. Celebrate the onset of the holidays (and sell a bunch of cards) at the East Village Holiday Promenade.
20. Walk through that Woodland Cemetery.
21. Coq au Vin.
22. Go to a movie.
23. Take a yoga class. Maybe more than once.
24. Go see the ArtVend machine up in Ames.
25. Play cards.
26. Perform with Our Kelly.
27. Light the sparklers. Even thought they are out of season.
28. Retry baking a cake.