THE Ultimate Edward Sharpe Experience

Aug 31, 2011

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

We first saw the happiest, hippiest band in the world last year at Lollapalooza.
The thing that we loved the most was that the crowd participation was intense & you couldn't help but be overwhelmingly happy.

The most recent show we saw was at the tiny venue in Shreveport called The Collective.
We were shocked to be surrounded by maybe 100 other people, because just the day before Josh & I saw Edward Sharpe perform in Austin at ACL to a crowd that could fill Tiger Stadium.
Ok, maybe the LaTech Football Stadium, but still, thousands of people.

So, we thought the greatest show of our lives was over.
. . . and then Alex comes back out to encore with "Brother"
. . . and takes a seat in the crowd
. . . right smack down between Josh and Bart

At one point, Alex even held the mic out to Josh and let him sing a little.
True story.

I just love the boys expressions in this pic.

Happy Mikey.
I actually had a PA school test the next morning, and I actually made my best grade of the year!
Music is magic.

Oh yea, and Ellie filmed this video at the show with her phone:

If you don't have a clue who the heck I'm gushing over then just watch this video and within 30 seconds, I promise you will be happy.

I know it's 15 mins, but it's ok.
You can do it!
. . . and you will love every minute, or we will refund your money.

Hooray for these kiddos working on a new album!

Steve Jobs Commencement Address

Aug 30, 2011

In honor of Steve Jobs recent retirement, I wanted to post what I believe is one of the most powerful speeches I've ever heard in my life. 
Warning: It's very long and very wordy, but you will not regret taking a second to read the whole thing.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

Tunes we love: Maggie Eckford

Aug 29, 2011

My roommate Trish introduced me to some pretty incredible tunes last week.
It's her close friend from high school, Maggie Eckford, and I immediately fell in love with her sound.
One of Maggie's songs was even recently featured on an Apple commercial in Japan!
How cool is that??

Two of her best songs are "For What It's Worth" and "Asleep"
(You can get these on iTunes!)

Trish said her favorites are the "bathroom ones"

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do :)

Another Dallas weekend

Aug 28, 2011

We enjoyed a bittersweet birthday celebration this weekend.

Bitter because:
We had to upgrade Charlies dog food to the Adult type.
It's terrible.
He's still a pup!

Sweet because:
He got to have a doggie cupcake from Sprinkles 
(since Josh was too embarrassed to do it himself on his actual birthday)

He thought it was something he wasn't supposed to have so he immediately ran under the bed to eat it.

 I consoled myself with half of a Nutella cupcake from Sprinkles.

. . . and then I found the other half mysteriously disappeared under the bed.

We got to have an amazzzzzing date at Roy's 
(thanks to 75 dolla dolla bills in gift cards)

Watched lots and lots of reruns of these cool cats and counted down to September 15th!

. . . and then we found out one of our favorite things from the 90's was back in action:

Thanks to this text, I got to go see Josh at work on my drive back to good ol Louisiana

Dave Matthews Wine

Aug 27, 2011

It was just announced that Dave Matthews is pairing up with Steve Reeder to create a line of wines.

They appropriately named the label "Dreaming Tree"

They also just developed a website, but you can't currently purchase the wines.
Theres plenty of awesome videos and pictures on the site though.

As of now, there are only three wines in production: 
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Crush (which is what I'm anticipating the most)


(photo credits: 

They will be having a tasting at the DMB Caravan weekend at the Gorge.
This will be our first Labor Day weekend to not be able to see Dave and the boys at the Gorge.
(Thanks to Josh for being a big boy and getting a job)

I'm very proud and happy for Josh, but I'm still a liiiiiiittle sad. 
. . . and missing that wine tasting makes me 5% more sad.

Oh well, we'll just have to settle with drinking Dave's other line of wine from his own vineyard in Charlottesville. 

Tisk tisk.

Charlie is . . . Gene Simmons

Aug 26, 2011

I swear to the Lordy Lord above that this picture is not photoshopped.

For reals.

. . . and this video is just plain awesome

I get to see this litte monster today . . . hooooooray!
. . . oh yea and Josh too
(insert awkward wink here)

Lady Gaga & Elton John 2010 Grammy Performance

Aug 25, 2011

I can't help but love this.
Don't judge me.
Elton's "Your Song" + Gaga's "Speechless"= Genius

If you hate it then whatever.
Just be glad it wasn't a "Benny & the Jets" and "Disco Stick" combo

Memphis trip to see Ed Ved

Aug 24, 2011

A few summers ago Josh & I had the opportunity to go to Memphis for an Eddie Vedder acoustic show.
Looking back on it, the shoe definitely ranks in my top 5 favorite concert experiences.

The venue was wonderful and the show was phenomenal.
Eddie pulled out his ukelele and mandolin and played multiple songs from the "Into the Wild" soundtrack.
The set list included a cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love", which he'd only ever played once before, at the request of Johnny Ramone. 
He also played a few other covers like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" & "Let My Love Open the Door" & "Forever Young"
. . . but my favorite cover of all was "The Golden State" with Eliza. 

 One of my favorite things about the show was Eddie's banter.
At one point, someone in the crowd screamed "I love you, Eddie!" and he replied "Where have you been all those lonely nights when I needed you?"

I got some really great videos too, which I attempted to put on YouTube a while back, and Pearl Jam's Ten Club promptly removed them for copyright issues.
Very kind.
So I'm too scared to put them on here, but take my word for it . . .
They were amazing.

While in Memphis, we hit up a few Man vs. Food stops like the Kooky Canuck

Gooooodness gracious thats a pretty shattered iPhone screen.

S'mores for dessert. Duh.

This entertained me.

. . . as did this particular individual on Beale Street.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Aug 23, 2011

I was shown this trailer today by the only other person I know who loves George as much as me, my dear friend Maggie.
. . . and then I almost wet my pants.
It will air on HBO on Oct. 5th and 6th in a two part documentary.
I'm not sure if I can wait that long.
I might just search high and low online for a bootleg version.

I reallllyyy fell in love with Georgie after reading Pattie Boyd's autobiography a few years back.
Me and Mags both agreed that seeing that trailer made us want to re-read that book.
If you haven't read it, then put down The Help, and start reading it right this instant!
. . . if only PA school allowed time for leisure reading. 

Happy First Birthday Charlie!

Aug 22, 2011

It's official.
Our little puppy is old.
Charles is one whole year old today.

Without being tooooooo mushy and obnoxiously overdramatic about how cute I think Charlie is and how much I am obsessed with him . . .
I'm just going to casually post some of my favorite pics of the greatest pup in the world.

Here's a few from his first camping trip

This is probably my favorite picture in the entire universe.

. . . or this one.
Tough call.

Charlie's first snow!

Awkward family photo

He has grown SO much in one year
The cone of shame only lasted about 30 minutes

We didn't get much of a chance to celebrate while they were in town this weekend, but I made Josh promise to go get Charlie a doggie cupcake from Sprinkles today!

Josh texted me this picture earlier today to show me how much Charles is enjoying his birthday:

If only he had some dog friends in Dallas to go party with tonight. . .

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