Completed: 27 Things Minibook

So back on my 27th birthday, I wrote a list of 27 Things to Do While I Was 27. Yesterday, I finished the minibook I’ve been working on for a few months documenting my progress through the list. Having a list of goals for the year, some silly, others more serious, has been a lot of fun. I didn’t finish everything on the list, and that’s okay. I’m really proud of this little book, and I’m sure I’ll love having it when I’m older as a time capsule chronicling my 27th year.

Because it’s more fun to see the book in person, I’m only posting photos of my very favorite pages here. I blogged about the minibook a few months ago, though, and you can see a few more pages over there. These minibooks are quite possibly the most fun thing to make ever.

27 Minibook: complete!

04. Wear more wacky socks. 05. Give vegetarianism a solid go.

16. Go to as many baseball games as possible.

16. Go to as many baseball games as possible.

16. Go to as many baseball games as possible. 17. Finish that cross stitch for my mom.

19. Do something scary. (film photography!)

21. Love my old friends, and my new ones, too.

21. Love my old friends, and my new ones, too.

22. Go somewhere I've never been before. (Brooklyn) 23. Swing on some swings.

26. Find more bad jokes. 27. Grow up. Don't grow up. Age is just a number. Be confident, and humble, and patient, and kind. And nerdy.

27, I sure liked you. But here's to an even better 28.

27 Minibook: back cover.

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Minibook: 27 Things

Back in July, I wrote a list of 27 Things to Do While I’m 27. This week, I started working on a minibook to chronicle each of the items on that list. I’ve been writing about them here (sometimes), but I love the idea of having a tactile record of this year.

The thing is, though, that this was entirely inspired by Elise Blaha’s similar list, which I saw referenced on another craft blog I read (although I can’t even remember which one). When I first saw Elise’s list, I was reeled in right away. I already had the list written, and even better, I’ve been wanting to stretch my creativity in different ways. And honestly? I think scrapbooking in its traditional sense is a little hokey, but Elise’s minibooks are scrapbooks that appeal to me much more… they’re organized but not overly so, full of nice paper, and heavily feature photos. So I signed up for her April Get Crafty workshop, and I’m loving the results of putting her ideas into motion.

Here are the first few pages I’ve been working on (click through to flickr for more details and links to the original blog posts!).

27 Things minibook: the start

27 Things minibook: the list

27 Things minibook: #1

27 Things minibook: #7

27 Things minibook: #7

27 Things minibook: #9

27 Things minibook: #9 and #12

27 Things minibook: #12

ELO: Elaborate Lasers, Orchestrated

ELO Laser Light Experience

On Saturday night, a bunch of us headed out to a planetarium at a local community college (who knew?) to see a regular planetarium show followed by a laser light show. Nerdery, ahoy! I don’t know what it is, but I adore planetariums. And it was like a double plus bonus, seeing as how learning new constellations was TOTALLY on my 27 Things To Do When I’m 27 list. So anyway, yay! The planetarium! After the “winter skies” show, we were ferried out of the planetarium, and then back in for the laser light show. While we were looking for directions earlier that afternoon, Dan and I discovered that not only was it a laser light show, but one set to the music of ELO. Now, I’ve heard of ELO in my general fondness for classic rock, and I like some of their songs, but as we listened to the few songs Dan had, I realized that this had the potential for sheer awesomeness.

The others weren’t so big on ELO, and not all of them had even heard of them before. But the lasers! It was somehow awesome and cheesy at the same time. I was partly fascinated by the new digital projection system in the planetarium (they had that old star projector in the middle of the dome at first, but only to show us how they don’t have to use it anymore! Because of the new and awesome digital projection system! OMG!), and partly astounded by the actual setup of the laser show, in that most of the laser pictures were obviously hand-drawn by the Laserist himself. Like he sat there with the digital laser-pointer-style device and drew the outline of a globe. And a lady playing a cello. And a lady with huge boobs. And some mountains. And a guitar! Woah!

lasers and stars circling wildly to the tune of ELO

So yeah. It was kickass. And really, really, really hokey at the very same time. The music, though? I don’t know how I don’t already have all of ELO’s albums. I adored it and have had the songs stuck in my head since about 9pm on Saturday night. My mind, it has been blown.

PS. Don’t tell Bill, the Staff Astronomer/Laserist, that I was taking photos during the laser show. It’s totally not allowed.

The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance

December 4, 2008

Last night, I saw Vampire Weekend play a sold out show at Terminal 5 in New York City. Seeing a concert was one of the things on my 27 Things To Do While I’m 27 list (a list which I’m proud to say, is being completed with due diligence!), and since I haven’t been to a show in a really long time, I jumped at the chance. Vampire Weekend’s debut cd is the most recent cd I’ve loved enough to completely kill; I listened to it on repeat from the beginning of August through the beginning of October.

I met up with Irma for empanadas before the show, and we walked to Terminal 5 in a light rain, which was kind of annoying. Once we got inside, the beer I had was the kind that tastes unusually good, a spectacular reward after a long walk in the rain followed by waiting in a hipster-filled line outside the venue. It didn’t, however, make the opening band, a strange duo named Telepathe whose set was all electronic and drum machine and strange keening noises, sound any better.

We knew the show was sold out, and decided to check out the balconies overlooking the main floor to see what the view was like. We parked ourselves on the third floor balcony, almost directly overlooking the stage, quite possibly the coolest place to watch a show I’ve been in. Granted, we only got those front row balcony spots because no one else wanted to have their eardrums blasted out by the giant, hulking speakers four feet to our left, but OH MAN it was so worth it.

Vampire Weekend @ Terminal 5, December 4, 2008

Vampire Weekend’s set was so perfect. They played most of their album, which made me so happy (although was unsurprising, seeing as how they only have one album anyway). The album itself is very upbeat and full-sounding, so I didn’t expect it to sound better, per se, in person. But it did. Somehow, the sound was fuller and just MORE. Or maybe my proximity to the giant speaker just caused it to reverberate around in my skull. We sang every word to every song right along with the sold-out crowd. If you have not experienced this, I highly recommend it. There’s something about that feeling, feeling like you are so there with a few thousand other people that is unlike any other. Kind of like being at a baseball game, just with bouncing around and screaming at the top of your lungs until your voice is hoarse.

My best description of their music is that it is reminiscent of Paul Simon’s Graceland album, combined with a little Guster and a little pure indie wittiness. They played a few new songs, which didn’t feature the keyboards, but rather more guitar. The lyrics were predictably strange and fun, of course ramping up my expectations for their second album, whenever that may be released. All four of them are beyond adorable, dancing maniacally around the stage, looking a bit 80s, a bit Kirk Cameron or Tom Cruise in Cocktail, all shaggy hair and sensible button-down shirts. The absolute best songs, though, were the ones they played with the string section. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t notice the strings so much on the album, but wow did that add something wonderful to the live sound.

While I probably need to work on my ability to describe music well, the bottom line is that this was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. My expecations were high, and they were exceeded somehow. I sort of wish I could go see them again on Saturday. I suppose I’ll instead have to put the cd back in my car and listen to it on repeat for another few weeks. Oh darn.

Twenty Seven Things To Do While I’m 27 (In No Certain Order)

  1. Learn how to identify more constellations. (I KNOW there’s more out there than the Big Dipper and Orion.)
  2. Run three miles. Without stopping.
  3. Slow down.
  4. Wear more wacky socks.
  5. Give vegetarianism a solid go, rather than just talking about it.
  6. Write more.
  7. Learn how to cook something I can love as much as I love the chili.
  8. Love bigger.
  9. Go to a concert.
  10. Kiss someone.
  11. Fit into those damn skinny jeans.
  12. Like my car more, and stop wishing it was the one I crashed.
  13. Start using my patio. (Neighbors are not as scary as they might seem.)
  14. Master Guitar Hero on Hard. (Orange button be damned!)
  15. Have people over.
  16. See as many baseball games as possible.
  17. Finish the cross stitches for my mom.
  18. Tell people that they’re important to me.
  19. Do something scary.
  20. Allow myself to be who I am, in brilliant color.
  21. Love my old friends, and my new ones, too.
  22. Go somewhere I’ve never been before.
  23. Swing on some swings.
  24. Buy awesome shoes. (But not too many.)
  25. Worry a tiny bit less.
  26. Find more bad jokes. (But don’t EVER stop telling the old ones. They are still funny, no matter what anyone says.)
  27. Grow up. Don’t grow up. Age is just a number. Be confident, and humble, and patient, and kind. And nerdy.