Musical Adventures in the Snow

Almost a year ago my younger brother began saving his money in hopes of buying the many mechanical parts needed to built his own computer. As the money started burning in his pocket, he took a spill off of his long board, tore his ACL and was in bed for weeks recovering.

When the time came to invest the funds he has so careful saved, his attention was redirected to the musical world and somehow he ended up with a banjo in hand rather than his coveted homemade computer.

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With his investment has come many hours of loud practices, and outdoor jam sessions.

And I kind of think that its the coolest thing ever. I mean, who actually plays the banjo these days? Besides my uncle who taught him… IMG_8590IMG_8580

I asked Eli if I could take some pictures of him with his instrument because the recent influx of snow has made for quite the picturesque backdrop. He obliged on the grounds that I would be his subject in a music video that he is making (soon to debut here).

So just try to contain yourself as you gaze upon the epicness. IMG_8445IMG_8497IMG_8467IMG_8504IMG_8572IMG_8463IMG_8527IMG_8526

Bonus, here’s a video of our adventure:

Until next time, wonder on.

November Diary

Honestly as I sit down to write this, I am having a hard time recalling all that has happened in this packed month. For these updates, my planner is my best friend.

I can never decide if I love or hate the month of November, in my mind it is plagued with poor memories and great ones that convene to make a confusing picture. However, I can objectively say that I love November for the Fall atmosphere that abounds. I love reds and oranges and yellows and it feels like that time of year when Fall is taking its last breath before moving aside for winter, and it couldn’t be more beautiful.

That being said, here are a couple fun things that I did during the month of November:

November Update

During the first week of the month my brother was a central character in his very first play and it was an event that I was unwilling to miss. So after my Thursday classes I grabbed my bags and made the couple hour commute to Spokane.

In the radio production of “Frankenstein” my brother played the role of the creature and a scientist. With absolute certainty I can say that he crushed it. He stole the show.

It’s so weird watching him group up, it seems like just yesterday I was putting my tutus on him and shoving him into plant pots.

He had been working the soundboard and lights until now when the play team begged him to be a part of the production. Honestly, none of us knew that he had it in him, but he killed his performance and I couldn’t be more proud of him!

The next day I headed back to Pullman where Dad’s weekend was beginning. This is an interesting weekend for me. Honestly, I hate the premise of Mom’s and Dad’s weekends at universities 1) because those without a mom or dad are painfully more aware of it and 2) these weekends are notorious for producing ill-advised drunken parents who roam the streets of Greek row.

As November 1st marks 12 years since my Dad passed away I was hesitant to leave the house at all. Last year I spent the weekend in the company of my friends, blocking out the heartache with copious amounts of ice cream and movies. Praise the Lord this year was different.

My stepdad, Art, was gracious enough to come up and spend time with me. My mom and him left soon after me on Friday afternoon to spend time in Pullman. I bought tickets for Art and I to go see the comedian Gabriel Iglesias at my University. He cried laughing through the while show.

The next morning I got to show him and my mom around campus and watch the WSU Dad’s Weekend Pumpkin Drop in the freezing cold with them between introducing them to Deans, Professors, and peers. I’d say it was a good weekend.

In the third week of the month the Eastern half of Washington got hit by heavy windstorms. Spokane was put under storm warning and lost power from downed power lines for almost four days in parts of the city. Pullman was hit by some of the highest winds – 67 mph – hurricane grade, if we were by the coast. The university lost power for a few hours and cancelled classes the following day. It was an interesting event.

I had to drive to Spokane the night after the storm hit to pick up my best friend from the airport and in the city I encountered dead signals and massive lines as people fought their way through the gas station. It was like an apocalyptic nightmare in the city. I went home for the night where we huddled around a portable heater in a candlelit room. It was an interesting few hours that led me to think about just how privileged I am to have been inconvenienced by the loss of wifi.

Thursday I picked up my friend, Jami, from the airport.

Months ago I told Jami about my trip to Seattle and the heartache I felt for its homeless community. So, while I was in Burma this summer, she and I were FaceTiming and she proposed the idea of spending our Thanksgiving in the city to volunteer to serve dinner to the homeless community. Which  brought us to this week, a week full of adventure.

First in Pullman where I made her an honorary Coug for a weekend. And then in Seattle when we explored the city together.

While still in Pullman one of my friends from church volunteered to take our pictures. In three years of friendship, my move to the Pacific Northwest and her move to the East Coast left us without any pictures together – which is basically a crime in the world of Pinterest decorating dorm/apartment rooms. So, I arranged for us to spend a couple hours getting our pictures taken together in a makeshift bestie photoshoot before we headed out to the coast.

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We got all decked out in our fall gear and hit the streets of Pullman. It was a glorious event, and even more glorious to have my best friend here, in the flesh, to share it with me.

On Monday we left for the coast. There was supposed to be a huge storm that would make it relatively impossible to drive the pass, but it never really hit. Nonetheless, we left a day early and stayed the night in SeaTac. The next day we hit the University district, scoping out the haunt of my rival college: UW. We headed down to Oak Harbor that night, spending the night and the following morning on Whidbey Island. The next two days were full of exploring the city and serving meals at various locations. Here’s a video of the adventure:

Thanksgiving Roadtrip to Seattle with JL from AJ Freibott on Vimeo.

I rounded out the month in Spokane, spending a few days with my family before heading back down to school to finish out the semester. We left out the Turkey in favor of rabbit and duck, leaving us with a Thanksgiving meal to remember and respectful of our copious amount of varying allergies.

We decorated our Christmas tree before I left down, leaving me dreaming of the tidings of Christmas until I return home in three weeks at the conclusion of the semester.

November Favorites

Coffee Shop Indulgence: Dirty Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte with an extra shot of espresso

Unfortunately, I don’t have a pretty picture of this month’s drink (blogger fail), but don’t let that deter you from tasting this sweet treat! This is the perfect drink for the Fall season – a cinnamon-y and pumpkin-y sweet treat to usher in the warm fuzzies of Fall. If you like Chai Latte’s this is the perfect combination of all things lovely.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania IMG_8321This really weird and scary picture is the only one that I was able to find with the lipstick on my lips. I took it while waiting at a drive thru for my Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

I love this particular shade because it is so incredibly dark. I feel punky and elegant at the same time. It has a purple sort of tint to it in parts which I really love. (Also pictured in Dad’s weekend photos)

Buy it here

Music: JUSTIN BIEBER’S NEW ALBUM

Okay, seriously, has there ever been an album as brilliant as this? It’s been on repeat for weeks… Not even sorry.

And thus ends the November Update. Until next time, wonder on.