PatD!: And then there was one

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Panic at the Disco! came to town and I couldn’t resist. I bought myself a ticket.

They were a particular favorite of mine in high school, these day they have been relegated to being a guilty pleasure. But lets be honest they are a very well played guilty pleasure. It all started with “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and more recently, “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and “Miss Jackson.” Brendon Urie, the lead singer, as always, is magnetic. There is something about his expression of music and passion of singing that really sticks with you.

Brendon was the only historical member of the band in attendance at the show I most recently attended, though, I recognized the always attractive Dallon Weekes from a previous show prior to his becoming a official member of the band. Brendon explained Spencer Smith’s absence however and all I have to say is  happy vibes and good thoughts for Mr. Smith as he starts on the road to recovery.

Give them a listen! I definitely didn’t regret it.

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Running Along

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Not long ago I saw a trailer for The Maze Runner the movie which will be starring Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Kaya Scodelario, both of whom I have enjoyed in other guilty pleasures ( Teen Wolf, Love Actually and Skins UK, respectively). Dylan is hilarious! While Kaya is really gorgeous. I am excited to see the two of them in more substantial rolls.

At the time I saw the trailer I know of the book but had not read it. It was no where on my reading list at all but I had heard quite a bit of buzz about it. I am always excited to read a book and then see the movie to look for similarities in my imagination compared to the movie industry, so I picked up the audiobook from my library.

The book was very good and very engrossing. I was surprised by how addicted to the story I was. The book is definitely written for boys which was refreshing. It was more spartan in its story but the story had focus and just enough detail, nothing superfluous. Thomas’s hot tempered nature was new compared to some of the idyllic heroes in books written by women. The story slowly eases you into the conspiracy behind the Maze, giving you little tidbits and making you hungry for more.

At the time I listen to the book I did not know it was a series and was actually a little shocked when I found out. I am starting the Scorch Trials soon though! I am a sucker for a good conspiracy and dystopian fluff.

The movie will be out September 19th of this year. Can’t wait!

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Emack & Bolio’s: A Boston Born Ben & Jerry’s

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Upon entering Emack & Bolio’s I was struck by all the similarities to Ben & Jerry’s. The small store front was eclectic, colorful and fun. They offer more than ice cream and frozen yogurt however, they also have smoothies, juices, ice cream pizza, chocolate, fudge and micro-brewed soda. This Boston born chain store has a very interesting tale of birth. The founder was a music lawyer who started the business as a place where musicians could unwind and soothe their cravings. Their website claims ties with Aerosmith, Boston, The Cars, U2, James Brown and Al Green.

We visited the little store in Soho and when we arrived it was packed. This particular location does not have much seating or space in general.


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I ordered a smoothie and we all shared the Grasshopper Pie. The smoothie was good but not terribly impressive. The Grasshopper Pie flavor ice cream however was very rich and flavorful. I was very impressed. There were plenty of Oreo chunks in every bite and it was well balanced with the mint flavor. If all their ice cream is that creamy I will be back!

Hung Liu: A Window into China

I used to intern at the Byron Cohen Gallery and Hung Liu was one of their featured artists. Her work really spoke my heritage and my aesthetic inclinations. Even today I find myself reminiscing about her work every now and then.

She started her education and artistic career in China and then came to America. Her pieces are simple portraits enhanced by thematic adornments. I really like the historical feel to some of her pieces, especially in contrast to her bright and joyous use of color. Her paintings and tapestry are superb but the multi-layer lacquer pieces are my absolute favorite. Many of them feature large areas or even backgrounds of glittering gold and the multiple layers of lacquer give them incredible depth.

Hung Liu’s many subjects are diverse and have been taken from photographs or even tomb murals of historical Chinese royalty. They evoke a feeling of age that balances her abstract style. Then she has more traditional paintings featuring a mixture of modern figures and features which seem to be her window into China today. They don’t have specific themes or messages but just evoke certain emotions. The emotions while viewing her pieces is real. All her pieces have a fairy tale elegance and ambiance about them.

 

The Photos below do not do it justice and were all collected from google.

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image for "Hung Liu, Early Morning" is to be displayed hereThere will be a show in KC for her at the Sherry Leedy Contempory Gallery in memory of Byron Cohen. It will open Sept 5th at First Fridays and run until October 31st.

 

Scary Thoughts: A Weekend at Lemp Mansion

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This past weekend me and my two best girlfriends went to St. Louis for a girls weekend. It was a last minute trip and we were having trouble booking a hotel or B&B. In the crazy mix of emails I got my wires crossed and booked us at the Lemp Mansion.

I did not know it was a haunted mansion.

The Lemp Family Legacy started in St. Louis in 1838 when Johann Adam Lemp moved to STL from Germany. Their fortune was built on beer. While they had luck building their fortune times changed and events took a turn.

Suicide #1- William J. Lemp Sr. shot himself in the head after the death of his favorite son.

Suicide #2 – Elsa Lemp shot herself in the heart after having some issues in her marriage.

Suicide #3 – William Lemp Jr. shot himself in the heart  after the brewery fell on hard times.

Suicide #4 – Charles Lemp shot himself.

All four suicides were committed in the mansion. There are also a handful of natural deaths that also occurred in the mansion. All these events seem to be why The Lemp Mansion is one of the Top Ten Most Haunted Places in America.

Night One: We arrived late about 9:30pm. Dinner theater was in full swing on the first floor, restaurant level. The mansion was beautiful, old and elegant. They checked us in and lead us to the second floor where our room was. The second floor was much more eerie. It was strangely quiet compared to the boisterous cacophony in the restaurant. Our room was The William Suite which shared a Bathroom with The Charles Suite. The second floor was full of paintings and mirrors as was our bed room. It was very comfortable and spacious. There was a mood about the place however and we had to go to the bathroom in pairs. We all got ready for bed together and all slept in the King bed. As soon as the lights were off. It all got a bit creepier. It was an old house so some noises were expected but that doesn’t mean it didn’t put our senses on alert. I fell asleep easily though. Only later did a realize that, though the mansion was sold out, we had not seen or heard another guest.

When I woke up the next morning my immediate thought was to not open my eyes. I was super nervous something would be looking back at me. I could hear the other two girls still sleeping. Keeping my eyes closed lulled me back to sleep and I woke up later when Kelsey got out of bed. I walked to the bathroom and found the house unnaturally still. I ended up having another girl go with me. Showering was a disturbing experience, though my clothes were just cotton fabric they felt like protection in the old house. We left by the light of the sun, wary of shadowy corners as we made our way back out the back door.

Night Two: We were out all day. When we returned for the evening we arrived after hours and had to enter from the back. At first the key would not turn. We were nervous and creeped out but as we continued to struggle with the key we all just lost patience. Entering the dark building it was again eerily quiet. We arrived at the Charles Suite our bedroom for the evening excited that it was closer to the bathroom. This room had a door that opened across a hall from the bathroom, another door to the nursery, which is not a rentable room but a maintenance closet of sorts and a third door that opened onto the hall with the main stairs. As I curled up on the couch with a door near my feet and my head made me a bit edgy, but again I fell asleep.

I slept until the light shone through our windows. I showered all by myself, though I kept sneaking glances out of the shower curtain to make sure I was really alone. And we left in the morning with out incident.

We did look on the third floor as well as basement but renovations have changed the mansion in the last 10 years. Kelsey had been on a tour in the Lemp mansion once before and remembered a drop stairs to the attic. We were unable to find this. There are articles that mention tunnels to the brewery in the basement. The basement was all kitchen and dinning space there was one server station that was rounded that might possible be “tunnel-esque” but it was blocked.

All in all nothing terribly frightening happened, but it is undeniable that there was a temperature and ambiance about the place.
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Let’s go back to Nickel Creek

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I already know that one of my Top Ten Moments for 2014 is the reunion of the band Nickel Creek. Granted they may only be back together for this one album but I will take whatever I can get. And god bless them for going on tour once again.

Their newest album after the the 7 year hiatus is A Dotted Line. It is new, different and still purely Nickel Creek as they have always been. Our beloved trio is “grown up”, world weary and wise. They are more fun, see the song “Hayloft”, more funny, see ” 21st of May” and more world weary, see the rest of the album.

They looked older and tired but they still had their camaraderie and humor. The thing I loved about their previous shows was all the anecdotes about the songs and how they came about and that has not changed for Nickel Creek. They are still just as adorable and entertaining as always!

photo credit.

popbar

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Popbar popped up on my radar via Pinterest. The pistachio bar with pistachio nut coating and half dark chocolate dip was a rich green and brown color and it really drew my eye.


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So the next time I went to New York I had to visit the store, this was the closest one I could get to. Other locations are in California, Canada and Indonesia.

I chose the pineapple bar with white chocolate half dip and coconut toppings. It was really flavorful. The fruity bar was very refreshing on that hot day. Honestly, I think it would have been better sans the chocolate. This was a light snack that really hit the spot.

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