Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Underground music...that one time I realized I wasn't a hipster

I'd been looking forward to seeing this band based out of Brooklyn for a while.  My lovely neighbors, who seem to have their fingers on the pulse of the underground music beat, had recommended them and everything I'd heard up until last night was pretty sweet.  Allow me to indulge you in a sample:

The show was at Off Broadway this super intimate music venue that has all eyes on you as you stumble past the bands upon entering.  I raced there directly from work, as the rest of my party had already indulged in a fiesta of sorts on Cherokee street and then biked over to the music...because they're green like that.

The opening band was Union Tree Review.  Great little band with a violinist and a trumpeter in tow...sold!  Said trumpeter was my awakening...he was wearing jean shorts...ironically.  And that's when I realized everyone surrounding me was infinitely cooler than I was in my loafers and trouser jeans (did I mention I came straight from work?).

No matter, I was enjoying their groove despite the serious downtime in between songs (side note, this is where you fill dead air with witty banter).

And then...

The Spring Standards  graced the stage and upon just a few bars I was in luuuuurve!  People, seriously get out there and listen to their stuff.  They each play at least a bazillion instruments, sometimes all at once, and the best part is they actually look like they are genuinely having a pretty kickin' time and indeed enjoy each other's company even after co-habitating in a rather groovy looking little van.

There we were, front and center, my friends bouncing around and singing every lyric, myself feeling a smidge inadequate and a teensy bit rude for not knowing a single word.

At one point they came down from the stage, out into the crowd, to do an acoustic number with amazingly tight harmonies.  As it turns out all their panache on stage was equally as stunning as this moment, sans the bells and whistle, just hearing all their voices (save the drummer) dynamically intermingle.

And then...

something glorious happened.  To end the show they invited all the musicians up to the stage for an epic jam session that had everyone in the crowd moving.  At first, there were just a few people dancing in respectable parameters, but it spread like wildfire in the most organic and genuine way until everyone was dancing with everyone...

all the hipsters...and me. Kumbaya friends...t'was a great show!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Run run rudolph...

So I've been doing this crazy running thing right.

Race time temp: 26 degrees...people that's COLD!

That's my "I'm freezing pre-race" face.
Two of my cousins drove in for the race.... because they're awesome.
Cousin's Alyssa and Barbara getting ready for the race.
I'm pensive about getting pinned.

We did all sorts of things to keep warm pre-race.  Like dance to the Christmas tunes blasting through Old Town:
Some of us just wiggled really.
And then of course we ran.

All 1,100 of us.
The race began on a narrow cobblestone street, which sounds charming, until you realize it's a hot bed of injury potential.

We were cautious in the first quarter mile, then the crowd began to thin and we were off.  My dear neighbor and cousin agreed to set my pace and stay with me the entire run despite that fact that they both could have easily left me in the dust.

Things were off to a great start.  I was feeling good about our pace, my legs felt great, and despite the very crisp air my lungs had yet to scream at me.

Then we rounded a corner and much to my surprise was a hill...a very large hill.  People...I couldn't even see the crest of this bugger.  Josh calmly told me to dig in, this is where it counts.  I nearly died.

But then I didn't!

Massive thanks to Barbara and Josh for keeping me going that last half mile. It was a toughie, but you helped me along.

And we all lived to tell about it!
And we even got medals!
All in all I was extremely happy with my performance.  My goal six months ago was simply to cross the finish line.  As training went on I figured why not run the thing without stopping.  Then I got really ambitious and thought wouldn't it kick some serious Santa butt to finish the thing with a 10:00 mile pace!

As it turns out there's a lot to be said for adrenaline:

Congratulations on finishing the Santa's North Pole Dash on December 10, 2011.  This is a results summary for Ashley Schuster Kempf.

Your time of 30:35 gave you a pace of  9:52 per mile. Your overall finish place in the 5K was   221 and your age group finish place was 29.

There were 148 finishers in the Women 20 to 29 age group and 846 finishers in the race.

Full results can be found at

If you have any questions regarding the results, please visit

We hope to see you again next year.

FLEET FEET Race Timing

I finished top 19% for my age group and top 26% overall.  Not too shabby for a first-time runner if I do say so myself!

My husband...full of energy (not having actually run the race) and with a tremendous amount of free time on his hands commemorated the event with a movie trailer...Indian Jones style...cause that's how we roll.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Strange things aFoot...

I've spent the better part of my life swearing I would never run unless something far greater was tailing me with a hungry look in its eye.  Even then I'd probably hesitate to actually pick up the pace because chances are I could just nag the perpatrator to death.

"What is this a mugging?  You call this a mugging? Seriously you're trying to mug me?  You know I already saw your face right?  My credit card companies will hunt you down.  Aww come on, this is ridiculous, look at your life, look at your choices..."

Cut to June of this year when I said to myself;

"Self, if you run, what's the worst thing that could happen?"

The answer is I hate every single solitary minute of it, until afterward, when I self-righteously find a way to sneak in "I'm a 'runner' " into almost every conversation.  (I know...I even impress annoy myself)

I ran all summer long using the Couch2,5K app on my handy little iphone.  I had good days (the ones where I didn't want to fling myself off the nearest bridge for this harebrained idea) and bad days (where I went bridge hunting).  I had so many ups and downs training that I was beginning to think I was dating the little dude in my headphones (it was the peak of summer, hot as balls, and I was beyond delirious, cut me some slack).

I signed up with my neighbor running buddy and a few others for a 5k which is this Saturday.  It's holiday themed and they give you a santa hat and beard for goodness sake...people this race was made for me!

And so here I am less than 48 hours out from my first ever 5k and my foot looks like this:

My sad little foot
Because I have the BEST luck EVER!  Luckily my foot stopped throbing about two days ago, now it's just plain ugly.  We can chock this up to a very unfortunate encounter with a very heavy cookie sheet...'tis the season.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy 2nd Annual Bestie Day!

So according to the interwebs (and my altar ego Zooey Deschanel) today is Bestie Day.  Never heard of this lovely excuse to celebrate the family you choose for yourself...well read more about that here.

My two favorite people on the planet Hannah and Jules made a recent visit on a super secret stealth mission orchestrated by my husband to surprise me on my birthday.

Best. Birthday. Surprise. EVER!

You see we live scattered about the good old US of A.  But when reunited, our crazy reaches an all time high (I really do feel for the men in our lives) and general hilarity ensues.  Here are a few photos to prove it:

My wedding 2006

College buddies Ryan and Becky's wedding 2007

DC family reunion 2008

Jules' wedding 2009

Impromptu New York trip 2011

Notice the creative genius that is the variation on a theme.  Perhaps my very favorite picture of the three of us, is hardly a picture of the three of us at all, but the absolute most telling image of our friendship, personalities, and our glaring inability to take a decent self-portrait.  

My Besties...I LOVE you!
These two girls complete all my missing pieces.  We've been through a good deal of life together and I love them more than I could possibly say (without openly weeping).  Not a day goes by that I don't stop to reflect how awesome this world would be if we all lived in the same place again...of course I'm not sure the  Universe is ready for that kind of awesome.

Mama Don't take my Kodachrome away...

I know what you're thinking...

Another blog?  You haven't even posted on this other one in months.

Well folks, that's because it's a food blog (which happens to be on my business cards) and believe it or not my world is far greater than the sum of its foodie parts.  There were so many things happening in my daily life that I wanted to share with friends and family and it never really felt right to post them in that capacity.  To that end, you now have this little blogity blog to haunt.

I'm more than pressed for time, so as the web address indicates, you can expect  photo essay type entries of all the goings on in my world.

I will try to be more succseful at capturing life moments than I was at this particular event: