Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chicago: Day 2 & 3

Yesterday was yet another adventure.... Saturday morning found us all getting up way to late to catch the train downtown but we were optimistic that we would catch it. We did (and no wallets were left behind at the station... SARAH!) Once downtown, we walked to my new favorite restaurant, Rockit Bar & Grill, for an awesome lunch. Around noon, Jason and I hopped on the bus to head to the Museum of Science and Industry for the Harry Potter Exhibition while Jon and Krista did some shopping.

The HP Exhibit was SO fun. There were so many props and clothes from the movies, it was amazing to me how small everything was. The exception to that being Hagrid's outfit which was GIANT! I also really wished they would have let you take pictures but I guess mental pictures are as good as any. My favorite part was getting to see the clothes Robert Pattinson wore! :) We finished the exhibit and hopped back on the bus to downtown... or what we thought was the bus to downtown. Turns out, we got on the southbound bus instead and ended up at the end of the line, in the dirty south. We were so confused but thankfully so were the other college aged boys who were left on the bus with us. We all jumped off and ran to catch the northbound bus back to downtown. After about 2 hours on the bus now, we walked at what I'll call a brisk pace to make the 5:20 train back to Naperville. We got to the train station at 5:14 and I was sweating but thankful. Saturday night we grilled and watched a movie. It was a fun day but a little too much public transportation for my liking.

Sunday = Funday!! Cubs vs. Cincinnati at 1:20. It was a beautiful day for a baseball game and an even better day for a Cubs win. Final score was 5 - 2 and my guy Theriot played well. I even got to see Marshall pitch who I'm also a fan of. Cubs are now in the lead and lets hope they stay that way!! Go Cubs Go. Hey Chicago what do you say, Cubs are going to win TODAY! For the rest of the night we made a quick shopping trip, had dinner at Lou Malnatis: yum, repacked my suitcase for about the 5th time, and watched the TV show Whale Wars! (who even knew this show excited!)

Tomorrow: noon flight to the sandy beaches of Cocoa Beach!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chicago and beyond....

This is coming from the car on our way to Chicago for the weekend before family vacation kicks I'm a little discombobulated (???) My older brother and I hit the road this afternoon on our way to Chicago. I picked up some roadtrip snacks (wheat thins, teddy grahams, licorice, hot tamales, and some homemade cookies), drinks, ipod in check, and we were off. It was Jason's turn to drive so I felt it necessary to take a nap right away. Earlier in the day I had been telling my coworkers that I didn't believe in 15 minute naps. I've never really been a "napper" but they were convinced that a 15 minute nap can do wonders... I was doubtful. Well, only 30 minutes after takeoff, I fell asleep. When I awoke, I was highly rejuvenated. I asked my brother how long I'd been out and he said only 15 minutes. I couldn't believe it! So to my coworkers, I stand corrected.

The trip continued on with LOTS of construction (you know what I'm talking about Sarah) and crazy drivers (my brother fits into this category). I bought the Jersey Boys soundtrack for my parents so listened to that for part of the way. Who doesn't love the Four Seasons?!! Reminded me of my childhood, singing in the car with my dad.

I love playing Name Your Favorite so we played that for a while as well. Note: As of today, my favorite sports to play are basketball, tennis, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and flag football. Sports to watch are baseball, football, snowboarding, gymnastics, and college basketball; favorite candy is dark chocolate m&ms, hot tamales, sweetarts, junior mints, and swedish fish; etc etc etc etc... you know the game. Its a great way to get to know your brother whom you've known all your life... :)

I also filled my brother in about the new New Moon clips that came out yesterday. I was SOOO excited. If you want to know the story about my reaction to seeing them, you'll have to ask me because I can't type it out here... but lets just say my brother burst out laughing! It was pretty funny.

So we'll be in Chicago for the weekend. Harry Potter Exhibition tomorrow and Cubs game on Sunday... then off to the sunny beaches of Florida!

Monday, July 20, 2009


If you haven't already read Sarah's blog about this past Thursday, then you're about to get filled in. My FAVORITE band, Needtobreathe, was in town for Nightfall on the River. Every Thursday night during the summer, bands come in to play at Simon Estes which is an outdoor ampitheater. You can imagine how excited I was when I found out that NTB was coming. I recruited my friends Sarah and Haley to come along and word spread quickly so a few other friends joined in the mix. The night before the concert, Kelli and I had scoped out a spot on the bridge to watch the show so Sarah, Haley, and I headed in that direction. Before we knew it, NTB was done with their soundcheck and Bear (the lead singer) was heading up the hill towards our direction. As Sarah mentioned, I didn’t even think about and was walking towards him (she says I was walking very fast but I don't really remember). Bear graciously took a picture with us and we got the chance to chat with him for a while. At one point in the conversation I turned around and Seth was walking over to us. Its true, I did jump up and down 3 times and said Seth… I admit it, I'm a crazy fan. We got our picture with Seth as well and were able to talk with him for a short bit. They had to go eat before their show so we let them go and headed back to our spot on the bridge.

I must make a note that during our conversation with Bear, Haley asked Bear if they were going to play the song "Haley." Bear said they hadn't planned on it so Haley was a bit disappointed. When the conversation was wrapping up, Haley said once again "Try to play the song Haley, if you can" and Bear said he'd talk to the guys about it. Well…… during the show, Bear gets on the mike and says "we met some girls before the show and they requested this song, so this goes out to our friend Haley!"

They played a short set since they were just the opener (blah) and headed to their bus. We decided to leave since we're not very big David Cook fans (or fans at all) and walked to the Capital to see if "The Experiment" was still filming. They were wrapping things up so we just sat on the Capital steps for a while, took some sweet jumping pictures, and laughed at ourselves. We went back to Simon Estes to catch the end of David Cook and decided to linger around NTB's bus. We only wanted to tell them that we were there to see them and not David Cook… but after a while, we figured we better move on...because when they came out, we sort of felt like those crazy fans who chase people (haha). It was a great night of music and friends…. And the best part, NTB is back in Des Moines August 24!!!!

You know its the start to a good week when....

This morning, I fell out of bed. Literally, I rolled over and wham, I'm on the floor! I had no idea what happened so I just laid there for about a minute before I got up and hobbled around my room. There's nothing like smacking a wood floor with your entire body to wake you up in the morning. I'm probably going to have a bruise that will rival sarah wilson's thigh bruise (hopefully not). The only thing is that I wish someone would have been there to see my face as I'm sure it was priceless.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fishing 101

This past Saturday, Kelli, Shaly, CocoMotion, Jedadiarrhea, and Mr. Luke "I'm an outdoor kinda guy" Coleman went fishing. We set out from West Des Moines around 615 am… that’s right, bright and early. We were up with the fish. (do fish sleep?) Anyways, we headed out to Big Creek for what would quickly turn into an adventurous morning. We packed our "Snacklebox" full of fish related food such as Goldfish, Gummy Worms, and Swedish Fish.

When we arrived at Big Creek we drove around for a good 15 minute in circles trying to find the prime fishing location. We finally set our sights on the perfect spot and unpacked. The guys got our fishing poles all set up. Cocomotion had to teach me a thing or two about casting but everything quickly came back to me (Grandpa would be proud). The following are some highlights to the trip:

Kelli and the waders: they got stuck on her feet so I had to pull them to get them off. I ended up pulling Kelli down the hill by her feet because they were so stuck.

Luke Coleman's monstor catch of the day…. About at 3 inch fish.

Shaly falling in the lake: pre Shaly falling in the lake, the following words were exchanged.
Shaly: I'm going to get this lure off that log
Jed: You're going to fall in the lake
Shaly: (scooting her way on the log over the water) I GOT It!
Jed: You're going to fall in the lake
Shaly: Women have a very low sense of gravity. It’s a fact
Shaly fell in the lake

Snacklebox…. Who needs a tackle box when you can have a snacklebox

Justin Meyer's fishing vest: whats more practical than a vest with 75 pockets to load all kinds of fishing gear in it? Nothing

Kelli almost taking Eric's face off with the fish hook and then dropping her phone in the water, and then realizing it about 5 minutes later.
Jess and Joe showing up. Fishing always demands an audience.

Cocomotion's car horn. Its like a little childs toy horn… only on a car.
Shaly falling in the lake… it deserves 2 recognitions on the highlight list.
Luke Coleman whistling nonstop as soon as he stepped out of the car, Percuoco singing some JT
The Madonna shades

And in case you were wondering, we all do have our fishing licenses. We're legit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Celebrity Go Getter Alert!

I have an updated shooting schedule (thanks to my new friend Walter, the Best Boy Grip for "The Experiment."
Today: Shooting at the Capital Building all day
Friday: Mulberry Apartments
Saturday/Sunday: days off. Look downtown and in West Des Moines... they might be out and about exploring
Monday - Empty Bank downtown
They'll also be shooting a lot of scenes at a warehouse on Cherry and 11th. Thats where they've converted the place into the prison.

Also, this was confirmed that one of the girls from the movie "Taken" is also cast in this movie. I'm not sure if it's Maggie Grace or not but I'll keep tabs on this.

AND NOW.... for the best part!!

So here's the story: we sat at El Bait Shop to wait for Mr. Adrien Brody to come outside. All of a sudden, Svictor says "is that him? is that him" to which we all look up and exclaim Oh My Goodness thats Adrien Brody! Before we know it, he's inside and filming away. We sit around for a while and the decide to go stand on the sidewalk. By this time, its well into the wee hours and we've made friends with just about every crew member that would talk to us. Our favorite was Walter. He's a Best Boy Grip from LA. He gave us the scoop on the shooting schedule, chatted with us about life, and was totally on our side regarding our ultimate goal of meeting Adrien. More time passes and Mr. Brody stepped outside for about 2 minutes. I went and asked a security dude (we'll call him Powertrip) if it would be okay if I went up to Mr. Brody to ask for a picture. He promptly replyed "Please don't, lets respect his privacy." I replied "are you sure. can't I just ask him?" and he just shook his head. So...there we were with a dilemma. Powertrip now knew we wanted to get a picture so they sent Mr. Brody out the back door down the street from where we were waiting. By the time we walked around the corner, he'd already disappeared behind the building. We santered back to the car and then decided to just take a swing around the block. As we pulled past all the trailers to the end of the block, there he was, just standing in the doorway of his trailer!!! Karen parked the car right in the middle of the road and we all jumped out. I yelled and asked if we could come and take a picture and Adrien waved us over. I was so excited I just ran right up his trailer steps and into the doorway (i'm pretty sure I wasnt supposed to do this because he said, lets take the picture outside). SO there we were, taking a picture. All the security guards back there were not very happy with us. I'm sure they were just confused as to how we made it past all of them! We were just 4 girls with determination and persistence that paid off. Wow, what a great story. We all got to meet him, shake his hand, and say hello. What a guy that Mr. Brody, thanks for meeting us. I promise I'll go see your movie the opening week!

Next Goal: Cam Gigandet

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I survived the midnight showing of HP6

Everything about this article that Robin sent to me is spot on:

Read away... Pictures from last nights viewing to follow...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Celebrity Go Getter Alert!

The Experiment is filming this week next door to the DTC downtown. The street in front of High Life Lounge and some of 2nd Street will be closed all day tomorrow. So no cheeseburger baskets alas.

Be respectful while they are actually shooting scenes. Mainly being quiet when they yell “ACTION!” Anyone planning activities on the east side of our building should keep this in mind.

Forest Whittaker, Adrian Brody, and Elijah Wood are all in the film (The Experiment), but we’re not totally sure who will be around this week. And please remember, no Frodo jokes for the duration of the production (It’s in his contract).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Celebrity Go Getter Alert!

A few well known celebrities are in the area shooting a new movie called "The Experiment." I don't know much about the movie except for what I've ready on but I'm highly intrigued. Des Moines doesn't get too many celebrities swinging through this part of the US so when one does happen to stop in town, its major. That’s why my coworkers and I have made it a point to keep up on the local celebrity news. We want to build connections, paparazzi these people when the opportunity arises, and maybe… if we're lucky, get to be an extra in one of the movies that shoots here…. Or even just meet them. Des Moines is quickly becoming the hotspot for filmmakers to shoot movies due to the tax incentives. All I can say is I'm not mad about it. Its exciting for the city of Des Moines and I'm looking forward to being a celebrity go getter! (my new term for finding out details and finding celebs shooting in DM)

Last months Celebrity Go Getter:
Luke Perry: in town shooting "Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency". No sightings but a few friends came very very close!

This months Celebrity Go Getters:
Adrien Brody
Cam Gigandet
Forest Whitaker
Clifton Collins Jr.

This just in...... The Experiment is shooting at Mars Cafe on Wednesday morning!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity

Ways to Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity (i found this very humorous for some reason)

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It 'In.'

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ' For Smuggling Diamonds'

7. Finish All Your sentences with 'In Accordance With The Prophecy.'

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, wi th a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go.'

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won!, I Won!'

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!'

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

20. Be a Cubs fan! (I love em but they make me go insane!!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

HyVee Triathlon

A couple of weekends ago was the HyVee Triathlon. I've never been to a triathlon but was excited to watch my first one and cheer on my brother. My friend Dan was also participating so there were a few of us that went to cheer. I woke up bright and early Sunday morning to get to Racoon River before Jason's start time of 6:15 am. As I was walking down the beach, I couldn't believe the amount of people that were out and about already. It seemed like the entire world was at the triathlon there was so many people! It actually made me forget that I was up so early because of the excitement in the air and the amount of people that were already out and about. Thankfully, right where I decided to stand, Jason's group was just walking up to enter the water. I quickly grabbed my camera and started snapping away. Before I knew it they were off in the water. I'll admit, I had a few tears. I get so emotional at things like this (basically anything really), I'm just so proud of everyone who's participating.

After he was a ways off in the water, I decided to go find a spot along the bike exchange so I could see him jump on his bike. About that time, I caught up with some other DTC people and we all found a spot along the fence. It was at about that time that my camera battery decided to die! Thankfully, my friend Melissa and I have the same camera so we just shared.
We stood along the fence waiting and waiting for Jason to come on his bike. Eventually, the group behind him started to come and I was getting a little worried. Turns out, we weren't paying attention when he went by so we missed him. We did see Dan and Scott though and cheered loudly for them.

We had the perfect spot on the fence so that we could not only see them enter on their bikes but get off their bikes right in front of us to transition to running. We made sure to pay close attention and saw everyone come in. After they were off on the last leg running, we found a spot along the finish line down the home stretch to cheer everyone on!

It was such a beautiful day! We all had so much fun cheering and watching everyone race. I can't wait to go watch next years (notice I say watch. I don't ever see myself doing a tri). Jason has another one coming up in a couple of weeks at Big Creek that my parents are coming down to watch so that will be exciting. If you get a chance next year, I highly recommend going and watching! It was a great day.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


This past weekend was the 80/35 music festival. I'm all about live music, especially when its in your hometown and you can come and go as you please. Saturday (the 4th of July) Kelli, Jenni, and I went to the festival (amidst the rain) to volunteer for a little bit and watch the bands. Poison Control was the first band on the main stage and boy were they catchy. They had us singing "Love.... is the answer.... until you get cancer!" all day long. As more bands followed throughout the afternoon, the crowd continued to grow. By the evening, the streets were filled and each stage had a giant crowd. We left in the late afternoon for church and would come back for Ben Harper. By the time we got back for Ben, I'd estimate that 94% of the crowd had consumed a little too much alcohol and weren't exactly smoking cigarettes. We watch a couple songs, had a few good laughs, saw some people that we knew, and decided to call it a night while we could still breathe! :) We watched some fireworks and then headed over to a friends house. All in all, the festival was a good time and I'm curious to find out next years lineup.

Kelli and I lovin Ben Harper!

Shaly, Darrin, and Anthony with their best concert face!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Today, something magnificent happened. At the 12th hour, 34 minutes, 56 seconds on July 8, 2009, the numbers on my computer read

12:34:56 7/8/9

Kelli.... will this ever happen again??!!! NOPE!!

Busy much?!

Can I state something for one second? (I can because I can type whatever I want). I'm tired of people saying they're too busy! I've often used the excuse but it seems that more recently, that's all I've been hearing. Can I just list what a typical week looks like for me right now.
5:00 AM : wake up and read
5:30: breakfast
615: out the door for work
630-530: work.
545: hopefully I'm home by then but its usually 6.
6 - ?? Monday nights: dinner with a new or old friend
Tuesday nights: ultimate frisbee or softball game
Wednesday nights: Epicenter at 630
Thursday nights: Sand Volleyball at 830
Friday nights: BS hangout
Saturday: softball game and church
Sunday: church, outreach, Sunday funday with kelli
1045 pm: read
1130 pm: it’s a good night if I get to sleep by 1130

That’s a pretty typical week for me (and I know some of my friends are worse than this). So when someone says they're too busy to do something, I just smile. :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Where's Karen?

Sunday night, as the 4th of july festivities were winding down, we decided to make our own fun and create a "Where's Waldo" picture series… only its Where's Karen?! We had so much fun coming up with different "scenes" to set up and even created a little mischief. Enjoy…

Can you spot her? I'll give you a hint, she's behind the tree.

Oh there she is playing with the baby toy at the bottom of the stairs.

This ones tricky.... she's wiping down the counter.

She didn't quite make it into the cab of Anthony's truck...

She almost got ran over.

Did somebody hear something coming from the shower?

Good night, sleep tight.... I think something is in the corner.

Sarah you're so funny. No Sara, you're too funny. Who's that funny person behind us?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

ITALY... you're so close!

I love visiting new places and when given the opportunity, I will not pass it up. LIke my friend Rachel, I'm a sucker for traveling (though she does it WAY more often than I do). I love vacations. I love everything about them! I'm thankful to have parents who also love them and also encourage me to travel when I can. I have a couple of friends who are also enablers... and I'm not mad about it.
SO, when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance and just two months from now I'm headed to Italy for a couple of weeks. I couldn't be more excited! Actually, I should add the point that ever since I was a wee little girl, I've wanted to travel to Austria (because of the Sound of Music), so we're making a pit stop in Austria for a few days before traveling on to Italy where we'll spend the majority of the time sight seeing, experiencing the night life with the locals, and taking LOTS of pictures. Some of our stops include Salzburg, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Vernazza, Sienna, and Rome. I've been practicing my Italian every night (though I still sound like a 4 year old). I've kind of kept this trip on the DL. It started out as one of those things where you just talk about it like its going to happen but in your head you're thinking that it might not happen so you don't want to get your hopes up. Thankfully, this trip has come through and 3 of my friends and I are headed out for an amazing journey.

ps. someday rach, we're going to travel together! Shall I say Africa?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Watch out. Pro Golfer coming through!

So, my father is a legit golfer. He's a coach for my old high school, gives private lessons for kiddos in town, and is an avid fan, and will play any chance he can get. (He is even patient enough to play with me when I'm home… though he just shakes his head when I whiff or scream or drive the cart WAY to fast!!) This year seems to be the ultimate golf year for him. It started out with me winning tickets to the Masters this year and (obviously) I gave them to my father. He's always dreamed of going and I was happy to help out with that little dream. He had the best time and it'll be something that he'll always remember. Then comes last week during Mens Night at the Club. My dad got his first HOLE IN ONE! He's been golfing since before I was even born and never has he accomplished this. I was so excited for him. What a great year golf has been to him - 2 majors in 1 year. But I spoke to soon. Last night at Men's Night, he again hit another HOLE IN ONE! Going how many years without ever hitting one and then to have two in the same year… a week a part! Incredible. His Wednesday night hole in one streak will have to end as he's off to the John Deere Golf Classic this weekend in the Quad Cities for a week. With the way his golf luck has turned out this year, who knows what could happen there! I'm liking his odds! :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A blast from the past... i love these things!

U Know You Grew Up In the 80's If:

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE. ( I probably did this once or twice)

2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton (who can't?!)

3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom

4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"

5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons. (David the Gnome!)

6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head. (the side pony is totally back!)

7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school. ( I still love Oregon Trail)

8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.

9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)

10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.

11. You know the profound meaning of " WAX ON , WAX OFF" (Danielson!)

12. You wanted to be a Goonie.

13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (I even had fluorescent spandex)

14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted... and then he died. tear

15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.

16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.

17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets. (I wish they would bring these back)

18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence. (Kelli and I are bringing this back!!!!) NOT

19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.

21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes. (A pair? I had like 10 pairs)

22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"

23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"

24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.

25. You have ever played with a Skip-It. (I once invited a girl to my birthday party because she told me she would get me a Skip-It for my present. She didn't and I never talked to her again.) ... thats sort of true.

26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.

27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.

28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.

29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.

30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB" (What? They're still cool)

31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.

32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.

33. You just sang those words to yourself.

34. You still sing "We are the World"

35. You tight rolled your jeans.

36. You owned a bannana clip.

37. You remember "Where's the Beef?"

38. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

39. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!