Hopefully returning?

If I plan things out correctly, I should be able to resume blogging in about 2 weeks. I also hope I have internet at my new place by then so that I don’t have to camp out at a coffeeshop.

(It’s not that I mind camping out in coffeeshops, but I feel so guilty if I don’t buy anything after a few hours. The problem isn’t that I don’t like supporting coffeeshops, it’s more that I get suckered into buying something I don’t really like/need, like a fancy $5 latte. I don’t drink coffee, so you can see how I am never ecstatic about purchases like these.)

ANYWAY. Lots of things I want to share with you all, from my recent New York trip allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way back to my Europe trip, from which I marked the one-year anniversary of returning a few days ago.

:D Excited to share all these things with you really soon!

Favorite Duets to Sing

I am a karaoke fiend, but even a spotlight-hog like me knows that often, two is better than one.

After all, no matter how good of a singer you may be (and I’m just an okay singer), you can’t really harmonize with yourself (in real time).

So, as I say goodbye to one of my favorite karaoke buddies as he heads off to medical school, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite duets.

Is it weird to sing duets with people I am platonic with?

Eh… sometimes. Especially when a lot of my local duet partners are close friends of my boyfriend’s, primarily because we are more intense about karaoke than my boyfriend is. ^^;

Some duets are more romantic than others, and those can be dangerous.

But saying no to karaoke is difficult enough. Saying no to the rare opportunity of having someone singing the harmonies that I can’t? Nearly impossible to deny.

Sometimes when I’m lonely (slash can’t get anyone to come to do karaoke with me), I’ll record one part and sing duets with myself. I’m not totally crazy for this, am I?

As you can see, this list is all over the place. Contemporary, oldies, musicals… duets are everywhere and I am so glad.

(I can’t find a live performance of this, but this is my favorite version.)

And don’t think I forgot about this one! You know how much I love my holiday music.

Also I may or may not have learned to sing in Korean for this one.

For those of you who can’t/don’t want to load the videos, here’s a list, kind of sorted by how often I get to sing them and/or how much I like singing them (there is a weak correlation between the two, but you’ll have to guess whether a song is up on the top of the list because I like it or my duet partners like it)

  1. “Lucky” – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
  2. “My Boo” – Usher & Alicia Keys
  3.  “Endless Love” – Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
  4. “No Air” – Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown
  5. “Falling Slowly” – Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
  6. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer (not the version I posted)
  7. “Love is an Open Door” – Kristen Bell & Santino Fontana
  8. “Phantom of the Opera” – Sarah Brightman & Michael Crawford
  9. “Say Something” – A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
  10. “Two is Better Than One” – Boys Like Girls ft. Taylor Swift
  11. “Timeless” – Jang Ri In & Xiah Junsu (original by Justin Guarini & Kelly Clarkson)

*Honorable mention: “Love the Way You Lie” – Eminem ft. Rihanna

This is an honorable mention, not because I don’t like singing it but because I usually end up singing both parts alone. People are amused by me getting angry and rapping Eminem’s verses. Who am I to deny them and not make a fool of myself?

Which duets am I missing?
Do you like singing duets? (Wanna sing one with me?)
Am I crazy for trying to sing them alone in my room or is this something you’d want to hear?

Short hiatus

Hey guys,

So I can’t accurately predict when my next post will go up. It could be tomorrow but it could be weeks or months from now. A lot of things are just moving around and I find it hard to even find time to get on my computer and write or catch up on shows or anything like that.

While normally, I’d blog to relieve stress, thinking about how much I want to share with you guys and knowing I don’t have the time to do it is not really as relaxing as I thought it’d be…

I’ll be back though! I’ve been blogging for over half my life now; there’s no leaving now.

Posts that I promised in my last post are still coming, and I may have a recap of my upcoming trip to New York and a review for Guardians of the Galaxy but I just have to ask for even more patience than I’ve already been granted.

I’ll still be reading your posts and I’ll probably be using Twitter a bit more than I used to, since it is a lot less work to crank out 140 characters.

See ya when I see ya.

Checking In!

Hi all!

I really miss blogging, so I thought I’d sneak a few minutes at work to say hello! I have lots of things I want to tell you about, but work has been really busy and I need to get furniture for my new apartment so that I don’t have to sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag anymore ^^;;

Things I will be posting about when I can:

  • The rest of my Alaska trip
  • The rest of my Europe trip I swear to cake (I know it’s been nearly a year since I left for Europe but THE REST OF THE POSTS WILL COME)
  • A new apartment tour if I don’t put off setting up / don’t make it a mess immediately
  • Dedication post to my favorite past time: karaoke
  • Maybe some movie reviews, even though it’s pretty late to be posting them up now (drafts I have include the latest X-Men movie and The Fault in Our Stars)
  • Maybe book reviews
  • My adventure making flower crowns
  • And more!

Let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear about and I’ll try to include that, too! There are a lot of transitions going on with work and my apartment, so I’m hoping I can resume regular posting and maybe even follow a schedule once the dust settles in my life.

Cruisin’ Again!

This year’s family vacation was another Norwegian Cruise Line trip to Alaska that ended in Vancouver, Canada. I have never been to the Pacific Northwest before, so I was really excited about it although not totally sure what to expect. There was one thing that was familiar to me, and that was coming back home to a cruise ship most nights of the vacation.

We started our trip in Anchorage, took a cab to Whittier where we boarded our ship.

We only spent about an hour in Whittier but it was a gorgeous day and the gorgeous scenery was just… gorgeous.

From there, we went to Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan before disembarking in Vancouver, Canada. Let’s get talking about where I spent a lot of my time during this trip:

Norwegian Sun

If you remember, I had an amazing time my first time cruising ever, and NCL had a lot to do with that. This year, we were on the Norwegian Sun, which is a slightly smaller ship than the Norwegian Star. I basically knew what to expect as the ship was designed similarly to the Star.

The food was, of course, great.

Starters & salads

Entrees……… mmm…

We rarely ate at the buffet, because my parents liked the portion control that comes with the meal service and also not having to carry our plates around and struggle to find a table. (“We’re on vacation, it’s okay to like being served, right?”) The food was good and by the end, I found out you could order more than one of each course from other tables where people were taking full advantage. Needless to say, my brother is teasing me for ordering multiple desserts to this day.

And I’d do it again! All the desserts.

One of my favorite things about our cruise this time around was the camaraderie on the ship. Whereas on the last cruise, everyone was generally friendly but doing their own thing, I made friends on this cruise. I [secretly snuck out to avoid having my family there] went to karaoke every night but the first and there was a nice little crowd of regulars there. Not only did we have regular singers, a few of whom were in the Karaoke Superstar Contest on the last day with me (shout-out to Garrett, Janice, and Coby!), but we also had regulars in the audience who were so nice and fun (shout-out to Carol, Jane, and Rodney for supporting me through the finals!). I’ll write another post about my passion for karaoke, but when you sing in front of a group, you do need to sing FOR your audience, not just at them. On cruises, I usually sing a lot of classic tunes from before the 80s because there are a lot of retirees onboard, ya know? Country songs also tend to be pretty popular. There was also a big sing-along in the atrium which I enjoyed a lot. Sing-alongs are just always a good time and are part of what makes karaoke amazing.

This was our in-house Johnny Cash, Garrett. 18-year-old who just started singing this year and already SO talented.

We also did a murder mystery lunch with a family from Miami. It was one of the few times my brother and I got to interact with other people our age and I had a lot of fun. Everyone played up their characters pretty well and we all had a lot of fun. The food was meh but the murder fun was great :D

(Also there was an “adult game show” that I can’t talk about because it was just so crazy, but I bonded with my teammates on our no-AARP team and it was a lot of fun. It wasn’t naughty but just very strange and difficult to explain.)

I can’t provide an explanation for this photo.

The cruise staff was, as always is the case with NCL, fantastic and awesome and so friendly. Seriously, I spent so much time around them that I picked up a bit of an Australian accent by the end of the cruise.

The Views

Basically, the Pacific Northwest is full of gorgeous, breathtaking views everywhere you go. I felt like I was in a postcard, or on a water bottle label. Mountains, oceans, forests, bald eagles… just wow.

Hubbard Glacier

MAJESTIC AMERICA

Sitting in a hot tub and looking around at snow-capped mountains covered with verdant green trees against a stunningly blue sky was just… it was a beautiful moment. It truly was.

I don’t know how I will go back to vacationing without cruising, you guys. I really do love it so much.

Saying goodbye in Vancouver

Summer Sights

Hello friends!

I’ve been feeling crummy about not updating here, especially given that my Alaska posts are just sitting there waiting to be polished and posted. A lot of things have been going on that I’ll update you all on later, but I wanted to let you know that I am still thinking of you – 5 regular readers and people stumbling here by accident.

Summer is in full swing here in the DC area. It’s the first summer I’m working through, so I always feel like summer hasn’t quite arrived yet. There have been a few moments that remind me it has.

The other night, I had come home late from work, as I’ve been doing more and more often these days. I walked out to pick up our mail, my skin breathing in the humidity and missing the crisp freshness of Alaskan air. I looked up to see stars twinkling through the leaves of one of my front yard trees. As I looked closer, I realized that there were also fireflies sitting amongst the leaves, blinking with the stars.

Another day, I was driving back from the train station. The forecast predicted severe thunderstorms, and I could already see foreboding clouds brewing up ahead. But when I made a turn, the sky before me was split. On my right loomed storm clouds several miles ahead, creeping up with slate greys and purples. On my left, however, it was clearer. A dusty pink-orange spilled over as the sun set, casting a glow on a few clouds that were not threatening rain.

I have a lot in store for the blog once I get my life sorted out. Alaska posts are coming. Europe posts will be completed. More up-to-date life recaps. Fun posts. Less fun posts. I have so many things I want to share with you all.

I just need to find the time!

Link

“What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Moved To A New City” – Chelsea Fagan

“What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Moved To A New City” – Chelsea Fagan

I haven’t read ThoughtCatalog in a while (hello website redesign) but I always enjoyed reading Chelsea Fagan’s pieces.

This one struck a chord with me and I posted it on Facebook with this to say:

I’ve always been good at making friends.
I’ve never been good at keeping friends.