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The Wilson’s Tackle Mpls [Sort of]

10 Aug

Ya know when my favorite time is to eat a banana in its life cycle? When they are so ripe that they’re starting to get those brownish spots or they bruise easy. Mmmmm. Ya know what I can’t stand about bananas? When you peel back the banana peel and expose the tips of each peel…you can see the little pores where the fibers were attached to the stem. EWWW. I despise pores. Bleh.

Anyways, now that I have successfully gained your attention without having to address my long blogging absence, I thought I’d share a few moments from my wonderful family’s visit to Minneapolis several weeks ago. My siblings are headed back to school tomorrow so I thought it fitting to savor a few of their summer memories as they head back to school. Most of these shots were from a bike ride one evening during their visit. I jumped through hoops and ladders to keep ’em busy while they were here…okay, not really. But you try keeping a 15-year-old and 12-year-old occupied in a city when they’ve grown up in the ‘burbs/sticks all their lives! Anyways, Minneapolis just started this Nice Ride Minnesota project earlier this summer so my family’s visit was the perfect opportunity to test it out. It was actually a blast and made touring the city so much easier!

How many Wilson’s does it take to operate a Nice Ride kiosk? Mmmm, 1, 2….

The best place to take visitors in Minneapolis is definitely the Mississippi River. You get a great view of the city skyline from the Stone Arch Bridge, there are incredible condos in the old mill buildings along the riverfront, the Guthrie is there, and so are the Mill City Museum and the ruins from the old mills. So we focused our evening ride along the riverfront and stopped to take some family photos. (It’s important to note that it may be nearly impossible to get a decent photo of a family of five when two siblings that know EVERYTHING in the world are involved in the equation–and if those same siblings still have braces and avoid smiling at all costs. Whew.)

Nick and I turned the camera over to my sister to get a shot of us together. Evidently my dad thought it would be humorous to ride his sweet green bike back and forth behind us while ringing the provided bell, sending my sister into hysterical bits of laughter. The only decent image follows. And I swear we didn’t plan on matching. Though the man at the gas station that night, who was also wearing navy and khaki, thought it was important to call us out on our fashion faux pas.

She looks more like mom and I everyday…muahahahaha!

My mommy and daddy. I love them. =) (My father looks very mischievous here. Not shocking.)

Ah, yes. My brother. He’s 15. He. Knows. Everything. So ya know, if you need all the answers to the worlds mysteries, call up my little bro…I’m sure he’ll have some wonderful intellectual insights. (Better yet, ask him the question in Spanish. I’d love to know how he responds.)

I have good genes. I think. At least I better age as gracefully as my mom has–seriously.

(If you did a double-take and thought that was me, I understand. I do the same thing when I look in the mirror sometimes!) A final shot to end the night. This quiet photo frame explains a brief moment in the typical nuances of my family life. –Dad sits and quietly contemplates. Everyone else follows suit with less intense contemplations and remains quiet for as long as they can tolerate. Then when mom can no longer keep everyone wrangled quietly, chaos breaks and the moment has passed.– The older I get, the more I appreciate these quiet moments. And the chaos. =)


Counting Crows & Augustana [Yes, together]

26 Jul

Finally…the last of my Taste of MN concert photos! Counting Crows is calling their current tour, “Counting Crows: Traveling Circus & Medicine Show.” It’s an interesting twist I’ve never seen before. Rather than a few opening bands and what we all call a “headliner,” Counting Crows traveled with, and performed with, Augustana this summer and featured several guests as they toured the US. With multiple bands on stage performing hits from every participating “headliner,” the stage did look a little bit like a circus. So much so that I’m not sure which band members were on stage and when…but they played some great music!

I’m afraid to embarrass myself by identifying band members by the wrong names so I’ll refrain from my previous identification strategies. Here are the basics; Adam Duritz is the funky lead singer of Counting Crows with the dreads and Dan Layus is the eccentric, cowboy hat-wearing lead singer of Augustana. Adam affectionately referred to Dan as “Danny” throughout the show, so they must get along pretty well. Actually, I thought the bands shared great chemistry and respect on stage and it made the whole experience pretty awesome. Enjoy. =)

Needtobreathe [The Real Deal]

23 Jul

Okay, no more teasing. Here’s my all-time favorite band. (The whole fan thing makes me feel like a total nerd/high school screaming girl, yet, I refuse to be ashamed.) If you haven’t listened to them yet after all my ranting and raving, you should be ashamed…I mean, how could you not give a band that’s from a town called Possum Kingdom, SC, a shot?

Meet Bear Rineheart; lead singer, guitarist, former college wide receiver, and South Carolina’s 2002 football player of the year.

I love his shoes. And I think I should request tips on squeezing into pants that tight.

Let’s break from Bear for a bit, shall we? Meet Seth Bolt; the gorgeous bassist and a real recording engineer (like, with a real degree!) This guy seems so perfect…I don’t think he ever sweats! Bizarre.

Did I mention that Bear and Bo Rinehart are named after University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant? Talk about southern roots.

Another eye contact moment. Bands must be trained to look for camera lenses.

Ah, my favorite. Meet Bo Rinehart; the guitarist, back-up vocalist, creative guy who went to Clemson for architecture. Woot! A man who knows what torture design school can be and who has pursued his passion for music. (Okay, sorry if I made anyone puke just now with my admiration for Mr. Nathaniel Bryant “Bo” Rinehart…oh come on! I only know his full name thanks to Wikipedia.)

I love how worn his guitar is from strumming in this next shot.

Back to some shots of Bear. These guys seriously know how to put on a great show. They’re so passionate and so real on stage.

And last but not least. Meet Joe Stillwell; the incredible drummer and guy who seems to do most of the Needtobreathe blogging…and is also nearly impossible to photograph. On the off-chance that Joe reads this (uhem)…I liked the acoustic version of “Washed By the Water” in St. Petersburg when you came out from behind that big ol’ drum set. Just sayin’. Also, I totally dig Joe’s facial hair.

And let’s finish on one last shot of Bo. What?!? He’s a great musician. Writes some great lyrics for sure.

Gin Blossoms [I Love the 90s]

20 Jul

I love the 90s. Especially 90s music. I mean, think about it; Nirvana, Green Day, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Verve Pipe, TLC, Spicegirls (errr, how’d that get there?!?), Matchbox Twenty, Hootie and the Blowfish, the list goes on and on…

I was so excited to see one of the great bands of the 90s at Taste of Minnesota a few weeks ago! Gin Blossoms opened the big show at Taste of Minnesota on July 4th in St Paul. I thought I’d share some of my shots from their set, complete with “Hey Jealousy,” “Follow You Down,” and “Til I Hear it From You.” The weather was hazy, yucky, and I was scared it was going to raaaain. But, it held off and ended up being a gorgeous evening for the rest of the bands!

Forgive me for some of the poor composition in these shots. Concerts are hard to shoot, for real! Especially when you’re short. Enjoy!

This next image had to be in here…we made creepy eye contact. Or lens/eye contact, whatever you wanna call it. Gives me the heebie jeebies when I look at it! Did I mention the lead singer’s name is Robin Wilson?

Why in the world do singers always do this? I didn’t come to the concert to listen to the audience sing your songs, I mean, come on! Boggles my mind.

Lovin’ Lightroom

2 Jul

I know my last post got a little “wordy,” so I promise to make this a short read today! We’ll stick to the visuals!

Today when I opened my free trial of Adobe Lightroom 3, I got a little sad…I only have 16 days left of my trial! I’ve been in love with the program and can’t wait to get back to BSU to take advantage of the discounted price of the full version! I love being a college student sometimes…I don’t know what I’ll do when I don’t get sweet discounts anymore. *Sigh* Anyways, I’ve decided that when my Lightroom trial is up, I’ll spend some time learning Adobe Bridge and Camera RAW. I mean, if I’m going to work on this photography passion, I better be well-rounded with my knowledge!

P.S. Post-processing is so wonderful, yet so time consuming! How do you full-time photographers keep up with all your sessions?!?

Take me out to the Ball Game!

29 Jun

Twin Cities Pride

28 Jun

Yesterday, I was torn. The weather was gorgeous and for the first time all summer we had the opportunity before us to hit up a pool and soak up some rays. On the other hand, yesterday was the Twin Cities’ Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade at 11:00 am. We had the opportunity to experience an event unlike any other. The Pride Parade is the largest parade in Minneapolis and typically brings out 125,000 spectators. What to do, what to do?!?In the end, we gave in to our vitamin D starved bodies and headed to the pool.

We’ve got a few sunning spots we want to try out before the end of the summer but yesterday we tried the Edina Aquatic Center. The city of Edina, turns out, is the Carmel, Indiana, of Minneapolis. Just as unfortunately unsustainable. The round-a-bouts were missing, but underutilized green “space” was in abundance. Regardless, we enjoyed our afternoon of sunning next to all of the local trophy wives. I love chlorinated pools. =) When we got back, we parked Sally in her temporary spot in what has to be the cheapest parking garage in Minneapolis–$5 for 24 hours on the weekend! Incredible. With all of our pool gear in tow, we had to walk around the entire block to get into our apartment. The Saloon’s Block Party had our apartment building surrounded!

The Pride festivities were still flourishing and we were not disappointed with bizarre moments. Though, I could have done without the man in suspenders and the smallest pair of underwear imaginable…Anyways, The Saloon Block Party we had received complimentary tickets to as compensation for Sally’s weekend relocation, was seriously noisy. When we first got upstairs, I thought our neighbors were rockin’ out to some serious tunes; serious tunes that were shaking our entire apartment. The base booming through our bodies made P90x Yoga X a little difficult. So by late in the evening, we were more than intrigued. We headed downstairs to check out the late night events and see what kind of crowds had developed. I was amazed! Our apartment is in a single loaded corridor and that corridor happens to be the east facade of the building–windowless except for the second floor. There is a parking lot between the Stage Apartment building and the Art Institute building to the east. Our apartment was shaking because the stage was in that very surface lot adjacent to our corridor. We did hear some great tunes during the beginning of the night and by the time we had finally gone outside to check it out, Blake Lewis was on stage. (I’m happy to report that at 11:30 pm, the music finally subsided and we were able to get some sleep!)

The Saloon Block Party seemed to be a huge success and I hope the GLBT Minneapolis Community had a blast this weekend for Pride! I’m still sad that we ended up missing the parade but we did get a few shots of the Block Party last night so ya’ll could see how big the weekend celebration got; actually, this was just a small slice of the array of events from the weekend. Check it out.

Our apartment is just to the right of the buildings in the next image.

So if you remember in my first post, that little yellowish building with the metal clad fire stair at the north end is our apartment complex. The larger yellowish building is the Art Institute building. The lot between both buildings was The Saloon Block Party main stage.

Nick’s Nighttime Post

26 Jun

View from the Mississippi

26 Jun

I apologize for my posting failure yesterday. I’ll make up for it today with 2 posts! I promise!

It’s “Pride” weekend here in Minneapolis. The city is booming with, well, PRIDE. Nick and I even had to move Sally the Sable last night from her comfy parking space because the Saloon (gay bar) at the corner has a giant shindig in our parking lot tomorrow. It was pouring last night when we moved the car. The parking lot we moved the car to didn’t accept cash. He made us leave Sally in the lot and wrote down her license plate number while we went to get cash. Did I mention it was raining? The walk to the ATM at CVS was okay, just some sprinkles. Nothing I couldn’t handle without an umbrella. Post-ATM withdrawal was a different story. Torrential downpour. A creepy man offered to give us a ride. But evidently, if there’s anything we’ve learned from our parents in the last 23 years, it’s to never accept rides from strangers. =) (Plus, I didn’t even have my wallet with me! If we would have been murdered, it would have taken forever to figure out who I was! Dental records, the whole shebang!) Anyways, you should have seen the look on the face of the lovely parking lot attendant when we got back. He was definitely amused by our drenched fashion statement and looked pretty cozy in his little attendant booth. Grrrr.

Anyways, we’re hoping for a weather turn-around today. So far, it looks like the clouds may step aside and “leeeeeet the sun shine, leeeeeet the sun shine in!” (Name that tune…) Here’s what I hope the sky looks like today and tomorrow, because I’ve got plans that involve a pool and a grill.

I’ve Been Challenged

23 Jun

My friend Erin (aka, Carp), issued a challenge to me yesterday on Twitter: @arwilson87 here’s the plan – I’m posting a new photo everyday & I want to see yours too – make it happen.

So Erin Carpenter, I am accepting your challenge.

Here’s a shot of good ol’ Stage Apartments. I love our 350 sq ft apartment. =)

As a side note, Nick’s email was hacked into today. So if you received an email saying he is stuck in London with his family, disregard. I think he finally has control of the account back so that’s a success story. Today’s lesson: Change your passwords, and change them often!