Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh Immy...

June 12, 2010...A very significant day...They day Amy and I finally saw Imogen Heap in concert. We have been long time fans of the brilliant singer and didn't want to miss the opportunity to see her. Needless to say, we were not disappointed!

I must say, she did bring a whole array of types of people. Waiting in line presented a great opportunity to make fun of "poor unfortunate souls" as well as listen in to several random conversations...apparently, we weren't as devoted of fans as we thought. For one, we had failed, up to this point, to call Imogen by her beloved pet name, "Immy." Now that we have been corrected, we will never be embarrassed again!

 I love how legit the tickets were..ha!

 This pin was on the back of this OLD lady standing in front of us in line...
...yes, it does say "HELP I think I'm a ROCK STAR"!!

It was so refreshing to go to a concert like this, after my years of Alternative concert-going. She was so...chill...for a lack of a better word. She came out before the concert even started (hair undone, no concert make-up on) just to talk to us and to introduce her opening acts. I had never seen anyone do that before for their own concert. It was pretty cool.

 The stage at The Rail

 "Immy" introducing the opening acts
(notice our great spots!)

One cool thing we learned about her concerts, is she always uses a local talent for one of her opening groups. She holds online auditions, and I believe allows voting, but then chooses a local representation. Salt Lake City was represented by Mr. Tim. He was pretty good/entertaining...I swear his section took FOREVER though! I was already tired of standing...and we were no where close to "Immy's" turn.

A talent that she brought with her from England was their very own "sound testers". I guess where she often performs, there are two violinists who play AMAZINGLY to test the sound of the concert hall. People can't help but stop and listen. They were truly amazing! The name of their duo: Geese.

(I tried including a video clip, but for some reason it wouldn't let me load it. 
Hopefully I will be able at a later attempt)

I remember one of the numbers performed by Geese that was so beautiful, that Amy turned to me and said, "I feel like I'm in Rivendale!" I said, "That's funny, because I was just going to say that I feel like I'm in heaven!" Either way, it was kind of a "musical high" and it was awesome!
Too bad the next song was so dissonant that we seriously thought we were going crazy! I wish I had thought to get video of it...but our faces tell all:

Another of her English opening acts was a guy named Ben Christophers. Amy and I LOVED him at first...and then all of his stuff started sounding the same...Still, we generally enjoyed his music. 

And then there was Immy:

She ended up being SO FUNNY! Not only in her hair, outfit, and crazy dance moves, but in the things she said and the conversation she made! Love it!

One thing that I did NOT love was this obnoxious girl standing behind me that was set on singing every song at the top of her lungs! I had to resort to cupping ear with my hand to the front...hoping she would kind of get the hint...yeah, she never did! You can barely make her face in the back of this picture:

Other fun pictures:

We've turned into old women...we had to sit down for the last hour.

But we still had a great view:

Another cool thing about her concert, is she incorporates all of the opening musicians into her show. She also does an impromptu song at every concert based on the wishes of the crowd: key signature, tempo, rhythm, melody, etc. It was very impressive.

Overall, it was a very long concert, but a very worthwhile concert! Frankly, I'm shocked that I had so much to write about it :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Round of June Birthdays

Just as it is every year, June is the month of birthdays! To give you an idea, here is the list of birthdays, just within our immediate families:

3 -   Kimberly
5 -   Alese (my mom)
18 - Karl
25 - Allison
29 - Amy

Why not knock out all of these birthdays with one post?!? I think it's a great idea!

Kimberly's Birthday:

Family dinner at Texas Roadhouse,
Assembled her new Beach Cruiser,
And, of course, birthday cake

Mom's Birthday:

Afternoon at Lifetime Fitness 
(including swimming, rock climbing, basketball, you name it. My family recently got a membership there...don't ask me why they waited until after I was married to get it. Bitter? Yes.)
Rumbi's Dinner at the park
(Rolling-down-the-hill contest included)

Allison's Birthday:

BBQ at the Grubers with family and friends
Homemade ice cream
More "Creek Time"

Funny/sad story concerning the big bouncy ball in this picture and the boy on Jason's shoulders in the following picture. Jason, Max, and I were taking turns kicking the ball to each other. Since it is a light ball, it takes some good power to get it anywhere far. On top of that, there was a slight breeze. Basically, it was my turn to kick, and we were trying to kick it as far as we could. With all of the strength I could, I kicked the ball, it curved with the wind, and pelted Zion right in the head (a few yards away from me). He instantly dropped, then ran crying to his mom. I felt so SO bad...but couldn't help but laugh so SO hard!
I've learned my lesson and will not be kicking any balls with ANY kids around!
Sorry, Zion!

Unfortunately, there is no representation for Karl, Robby, or Amy's birthdays. Karl was taken to Disneyland, and Robby and Amy live in Colorado.
Hope you guys enjoyed your birthdays! And we'll be at it again next year!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Girl's Week 2010 - Part III

Pack up (clean up)
Drive back to Studio City
Lunch - Chinese City Wok
Trader Joes
Forest Lawn Cemetery (visit Grandma Banks' grave)
Tour of Studio City (Menchies Frozen Yogurt)
Drop off Amy at Airport
Tour of Hollywood
Drop off Nancy, April, and Emily at Airport

As you can see, we didn't slow down at all when Monday came around. It was so hard to pack up to leave the beach house! We wanted nothing more than to be able to stay the whole week there...but life always comes a calling.

Once we made it back to Studio City, the plan was to have lunch at Portos...but being a holiday, it was closed. We ended up eating at Chinese City Wok, and that was some great eatin'. We also stopped at a little Thai restaurant to enjoy a fantastic dessert of Mango Coconut Rice.

Afterward we ran over to Trader Joes to pick up flowers for Grandma Banks' grave and to also pick up snacks to take back to our families. I brought back a nice container of cocoa-covered almonds for Jason and I...they were gone within a week!

Visiting Grandma's grave:

It was so special being able to visit her grave, since she just recently passed in February. It brought back sweet memories of the funeral and the wonderful life that she lived.

Since Amy's flight was early, we dropped her off at the airport first. It was sad to really see the weekend finally ending.

My first experience of Hollywood, the Kodak Theater, Grauman's Chinese Theater, and Sephora:

I am thrilled to announce that a Sephora will be opening up at the Provo Town Center Mall!

The time finally came for Nancy, April, and I to take our turn heading to the airport. It was hard to say goodbye since we had such an awesome weekend! Thank you Alli for all the work you put into it to make it so wonderful! I am so blessed to have so many amazing "sisters"! Love you guys!

In memory of the weekend, here is a list of the 
Top 40 (or so) Memorable Moments:

1. Airport Lesson #1 = Never Accept Friendly Rides on Cart
2. Studio City's Shrine of Air Beds
3. Photo Shoot of Hair-Eating Amateur Models
4. Weekend of International Dining
5. Frozen Yogurt Weigh-In Contest
6. Beautiful LA Temple Experience
7. Oxnard Beach House = No Service Zone
8. Nancy Takes on the Sand Hill
9. Frisbee Winds of Destruction
10. Beach Tarred Shoes
11. Speed Walking Race on the Beach
12. The Making of Hair Clip Experts
13. Nancy's Pink Preference
14. Emily's Four Day Back-up
15. Never-Ending Beatles's Playlist
16. The Best Sacrament Musical Number in History
17. Record Breaking Use of Aisle in One Sacrament Meeting
18. The Fresh-LESS Fresh-Squeezed Glass of Lemonade
19. Creepy Wood-Offering Neighbor
20. The REAL Toasty Firepit
21. Car Drives of Simultaneous Telecommunications
22. Fries, Fries, and more FRIES
23. Eye Drops = The New Torturing Mechanism
24. Alli Battles the Spray of Fallen Diet Coke
25. Jumping the Dune in Style
26. Large Parrot Man
27. Unleashed Dog Beach of Filth
28. The Anti-Pet Alliance
29. Pink Face Mask from the Burn Unit
30. Double Dolphin Sighting
31. Scary Ghost (I mean Cat) Stories
32. Tour of the Gruber/Banks Heritage
33. Alli's Unsuspecting Switch-Blade
34. Amy's Secret French-Braid Fingers
35. Shady Alcohol Thief at Ghetto Market
36. Parade of (Celebrity) Homes
37. Revisiting Patsy's Grave at Forest Lawn
38. Pile of Games Gone Unplayed
39. April Meets Red Pepper of Fire
40. "Hey There Pretty Lady," says the Dirty Spiderman
41. Extreme Makeover - Eyeshadow Edition
42. Emily Goes "Evil" with her Devil Look (thanks to the bottom of two forks)
43. Blessed Gift of Anti-Sandy Floor Slippers 
44. April Directs our LA T-shirt Photo Shoot
45. Emily Finds Relief    
46. How Many Women and Matches Does it Take to Start a Fire?

For next year's Girl's Week, there's been talk of switching things up a bit. 
Perhaps a Vegas trip?? 
Bring it on!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Girl's Week 2010 - Part II

Sleep in
Breakfast - Cinnamon rolls and eggs
Beach Walk
Surprise Craft
Beach Time
Dinner - Chilies
Dessert - Strawberry Shortcake

After a yummy breakfast, we took a nice morning walk down the beach. Nothing like getting your exercise with the sand between your toes. We enjoyed sailboat watching, starfish gazing, brisk-walk racing, and tar-on-your-shoes/feet collecting before heading back to the beach house. Alli, then, treated us with an adorable gift: slippers to wear around the house and body lotion.

Next on the list was the surprise craft. Alli had the cute idea of making hair clips, so she had brought a whole box of hot glue guns, ribbon, buttons... you name it she had it. We had a blast getting creative and making cute clips, not only for their daughters, but for us too! I've never really been one to wear hair clips, but we couldn't help ourselves from making "one more clip". It really became addicting; we spent hours gluing ribbon and drinking yummy margaritas.

Sporting our newly-made clips

My first clip!

We took a break from hair clips and continued the party outside for some fun beach time. We enjoyed a very WINDY game of frisbee (wind + our lack of aiming skills = not a very good combination). Good skills or not, we still had a great time passing the frisbee and chasing after it into the bird nesting zone. 

After cleaning up, we went to Chilies for dinner and enjoyed some fun shopping. Yet another eventful day!

8:45 - Leave for Church
Lunch - Hendry's
Drive to Santa Barbara
Visit Graves
Arrive back at Beach House
Dinner - Order Pizza
Surprise Activity (Facials)
Dessert - Strawberry Shortcake

After attending Sacrament Meeting at a local ward, we headed for Santa Barbara. First stop, Hendry's for lunch (significance - a restaurant Nancy visited many times throughout her life):

 Waiting to be seated

With it being Memorial Day weekend, it was a perfect opportunity to see and learn about some of the Gruber family history. We got to see a lot of the old houses and significant buildings, as well as graves of beloved family members.

After a very pleasant afternoon, we headed back to Oxnard for the next activity of the day. Earlier that weekend, Alli had given us our "official" Los Angeles shirts....which, of course, is another great photo-opp:

...which, of course, leads to more "Award Winning" pictures...
(you would be crazy not to take advantage of that awesome sand cliff!)






After we finally got our sand-jumping out of our systems, we settled down for a nice delivered pizza and salad:

We ended the night with some relaxing and cleansing facials:

Oh, the things women do for "beauty"...

Still to come...Monday, the day that ended Girl's Week 2010