Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Internet is Awesome 25 - Year End Extravaganza!

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It's my last post of the year! And as such, I decided to make it almost twice as long! No special reason, except that I still have a ton of videos saved that I need to use in posts. :p

Let's start off this final post with another Hollens Disney song. They are just magical together. :)

Leave it to Kurt Hugo Schneider and Kina Grannis to come up with something like this. I already loved this song, but this unique spin on it is just so good.

This next video is an utterly amazing rendition of Danny Elfman's Spiderman theme done spectacularly by Lindsey Stirling and Lang Lang. It is so incredible. It makes me nostalgic for the days when we actually had memorable themes and scores in movies.

I have a bit of a confession. I have never really liked the song Danny Boy. I've always thought it was way too schmaltzy, and even years ago when my favorite artists like Charlotte Church or Celtic Woman covered it, I just wasn't that impressed. I don't think it's a bad song, I just never cared for it. I actually cared so little for it that when Peter Hollens announced he was starting an email newsletter and giving away an exclusive track to anyone who subscribed, I was so disappointed and actually did not subscribe when I found out that it was Danny Boy. Then he released a video. I couldn't believe it. For the first time in my life, I LOVED a version of Danny Boy. How foolish I had been. I immediately went and signed up for his newsletter to get the track. :p

Pentatonix's Scott Hoying and Mitch Grasi, who have been best friends since they were little kids, have had their own YouTube channel for years now, Superfruit, on which they normally post vlogs and challenge videos, but lately they've been putting out some great stuff, including this cover of a Katy Perry song. Hopefully they keep this up! As entertaining as they can be when they aren't busy as part of Pentatonix, they are at their best when they are singing.

Recently there was a Disney movie called The Queen of Katwe released in theaters. It is about a girl from Africa who becomes a chess champion. It sounded really unique, and I wanted to go see it, but I pretty much never have time to go to the theater. However, Disney released a song from the movie on their Vevo channel, and it is amazing. I was tempted to buy the soundtrack based on this song alone. I didn't, because I like to see movies before I start buying their merchandise, but still, how great is this song!? Now I need to see this movie!

A couple months ago I discovered a British show called Yonderland. It is about a 30-something mother of two that gets sucked into a portal in her pantry to a magical land where she has to fight monsters and save the world. And also it's full of songs and puppets. It's like they made it for me. :p This song was one of the best parts of the show.

Pogo has been one of my absolute favorite electronic remix artists for years, and this video is everything I love about him.

I heart Tessa Violet.

I love it when my favorite things collide into one giant mashup of awesome! Twenty One Pilots, Kurt Hugo Schneider, and VoicePlay!

This song is literally everywhere, but thankfully everyone seems to put a new spin on it, and the Piano Guys are no exception. :)

Technically Pentatonix did this song for their new Christmas album, but I've never thought of this song as a Christmas song, so it didn't go in my Christmas post. Either way, they killed it. :)

Everything that Bad Lip Reading does is incredibly stupid. But for some reason I can't help but love it anyway. This song was one of my favorite things they have done in ages. It's so dumb, but so catchy. Also, I almost died laughing at "That log had a child!"

We'll end this with another amazing video from Lindsey Stirling. And she's themed it around Alice in Wonderland. This video is everything! :D

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Fantasia is my favorite movie. It has been one of my favorites since I was a kid, and a lot of that has to do with my grandpa. Earlier this semester I really thought about why I love the movie so much, and I turned it into one of my poems for class, which I am sharing here.
Before I was born,
My grandpa was many things.
A sailor in the Navy,
A teacher, mail carrier, father. 
By the time I came around,
He was just my grandpa.
He didn’t do much,
Except watch basketball and opera.
I wasn’t interested in either. 
One day he bought a video.
An animated film.
Something my grandparents never had.
This was the only one he’d ever buy.
Grandpa got the movie for its artistic merit,
Mainly the classical music,
I loved it for the dinosaurs. 
My grandpa didn’t do much with us,
He had heart problems,
He couldn’t play like other grandparents.
But we did watch Fantasia. 
I’m not sure how much of an impression,
It made on my brothers,
But Fantasia sure left an impression on me. 
It is the reason I love animation,
It is the reason I love classical music,
It’s probably even the reason I love dinosaurs. 
I would go so far to say,
Fantasia is one of the things,
That made me, me. 
Grandpa died earlier this year.
He’d been sick awhile,
So it wasn’t a shock.
It was still sad though. 
Last week grandma asked me,
If there was anything I wanted,
Something to remember grandpa by.
I didn’t even have to think about it.
There was just one thing that grandpa left,
That I knew I’d want. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Video Explosion

Did you have nothing to do this Christmas? Do you want to watch a bunch of internet videos? Probably not. But if you're still in the mood for Christmas entertainment after the holidays, then come back to this post, I've got you covered.

Unless your annoying family starts talking about politics again and you need to mentally escape, like, right now. We get it Uncle Frank, you're in love with Trump, and Hillary is a war criminal. I don't think little Timmy needed a lecture on Benghazi. Can we have some pie now?

Don't worry, these videos are just what you need. :)

We'll start this out with Peter Hollens, because he just released a Christmas album and he made a video for like every song on it. I'm not going to post them all here, but I have plenty.

Now for the absolute kings of Christmas music, Pentatonix. They also just released a new Christmas album. This version is now one of my new favorite Christmas songs. They are amazing.

And one of my new favorite a cappella groups, Voctave.

And because there are a bunch of them, another Peter Hollens video, this time with his wife Evynne. And their far too cute son, Ashland. :)

The YouTube series "How It Should Have Ended" recently did a mashup of Home Alone and E.T. Who knew these two stories would work so well together! Also, be sure to watch till the very end of the video!

This next one has no video, but I love this new Owl City song too much not to include it.

And another Peter Hollens.

More Pentatonix, I love that they included some unconventional songs in their new album. :)

My cousin showed me this clip from the britcom Mr. Bean last night and I about died. I literally laughed myself into a coughing fit. Then we watched it like three more times, every time someone new came into the room.

The Gregory Brothers songified Home Alone! And it's amazing!

And another Peter Hollens, this time with Mike Tompkins. This is usually one of my least favorite Christmas carols, (depending on who does it) but they managed to completely redeem it for me. :)

And speaking of Mike Tompkins, he did another song at the senior center. I hope he keeps doing more of these, because I just love them so much. :)

And how about some Studio C. Warning, it's slightly gross, if you have a weak constitution, but it is so funny. :p

And one more Pentatonix. I love the twists they put on their versions of these classic songs. This one sounds almost African. I love it!

And we'll end this where we began, with Peter Hollens, singing one of my all time favorite carols. I know we've already heard this once in this post, but you can never have too much Carol of the Bells, especially when it's done so well. :)

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Poetry of Random

This semester I took a poetry class. It was, by far, my favorite class of the semester, probably my favorite class I've had in at least the last year, if not two years. Probably since my first creative writing class. I ended up writing a lot, some of which ended up being a lot more personal than I intended. But I'll save those for later. The longer, more personal ones will probably each end up in their own post some day. Today I just wanted to share some of the shorter, more ridiculous ones. These ones have no deeper purpose, I just wrote them to write them.

This first poem came from me thinking the phrase "Gargantuan Orangutan," for some reason, and wanting to use it in something. That's pretty much it.

Gargantuan Orangutan

Gargantuan Orangutan,
Oregano and Mint.
I’ve no idea what this is,
I’m making up this Blint.
I even made up that word, Blint,
Cause not much rhymes with mint.

Rotoscope and Gyroscope,
Zoetrope and Quill.
This poetry means nothing now,
And it never will.
I’ve no clue why I’m writing this,
It’s just a messed up mess.

Enunciate, Pronunciate,
Exfoliate and Krill.
I think my rhymes repeat themselves,
Because Krill rhymes with Quill.
But then again they both don’t rhyme,
With Mint, so now here’s Thyme.

Macaroon and Camaroon,
A bug’s Cocoon and Lint?
I think I’ve brought it back around,
Since I rhymed Lint with Mint.
But now I think I should be done.
This made no sense but I had fun.

This next poem came from me having written nothing the night before the poem was due, and deciding to write about that. Funnily enough, several other people wrote poems on the same topic later on in the semester. And that was just of the ones that were read aloud in class. Who knows how many were turned in without reading them aloud. It seems to have been a popular topic.

A Last Resort

Writers block, this is it.
I cannot think, not one bit.

The night before, this poem’s due,
What the heck, am I to do?

I've thought about this, all weekend,
But I've had no luck, for days on end.

I've no idea, what to write about,
Anything I could crank out.

Oh poem gods, help me please.
I'm begging you, I'm on my knees.

Suddenly, the answer’s here!
Write of writer’s block, it’s clear!

It’s a card I can only play once, that’s true,
And it’s a cheap cop out, that’s true too.

But desperate times, or so they say,
I must do what I can, to get through the day.

Well, I guess that’s it, I’ve finished now.
This poem’s done, I’m through, somehow.

This last poem was another one written the night before it was due. I could not think of anything to write because I was too busy writing a bunch of other things, one of which was my Disney Canon Countdown review of Fantasia 2000 for the Rotoscopers. So I decided to write about that. :p

Fantasia 2000

Abstract butterflies.
Chaos in flight.

Titans of the deep.
Titans of the stars.

Classical Jazz.
New York.
Rhapsody in Blue.

A soldier’s love.
Music box.
Something in F Major.

Carnival of yoyos.
Rhapsody in Pink.

Classical wizardry.
Disney magic.
The Repeated Apprentice.

Donald’s ark.
Pomp and Circumstance.

Beauty and life.
Fiery death.
Rhapsody in Green.

And that's it for now. Like I said, there are more poems, but most of them will get their own post in the future, or I'll pair a couple of thematically similar ones together. Either way, eventually you'll get to read them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Things I'd Never Say on Facebook

I dislike controversy. I dislike people voicing dissenting opinions simply because they want to cause an argument. It is for this reason that I don't really talk politics or religion anymore, ESPECIALLY on social media. But, this non-confrontational attitude extends to many different things, far beyond those two topics.

Every day on social media, mostly Facebook, I see tons of, well, just really, really stupid stuff. Just about all of them are completely irrelevant and not worth arguing over, so I ignore them, at least publicly. Inside, it's a completely different story. :p So I decided to blog about it. Hopefully this way, by not directing these opinions at anyone in particular, I will be less likely to offend anyone. I just really needed to say them. But be warned, the shade is about to get real. :p

First up, this monstrosity.

Who in their right mind would willingly ingest this radioactive pile of gelatinous goo?! It makes me physically ill to look at this picture, and yet all I see is people posting this recipe cooing over how awesome this idea is, and how they need to make it right away. No! NO! This is disgusting! I wish there were some way to wipe this hideous mutation from the human consciousness!

Next up, this meme.

It needs to die a slow and painful death. Whoever invented it should be publicly shamed. Maybe using cold honey and feathers. They don't deserve warm honey. Shame on anyone who thinks this worthless waste of time is funny.

And while I'm at it, I also feel the same way about this meme.

Stop being so completely, ignorantly self-righteous. Literally NO ONE is telling you these things, get over yourself!

Whew. That was a little harsh. Let's move on to something that I am a little less spiteful about. :p Apparently, Bass Pro Shops recently bought out Cabela's.

Or maybe it was the other way around. Honestly I couldn't be bothered to care any less. Those are literally two of the most soul crushingly boring stores on the planet. Literally the only stores more boring are sports equipment stores. At least these ones have fish tanks and some interesting taxidermy. Other than those things, I really don't understand why anyone cares at all. But it was all over Facebook recently, and I really wanted to write how little I cared, but in the interest of maintaining the peace. I said nothing. Until now. :p

Lastly, I just have one thing to say about this stupid meme.

Shut up, you obnoxious little infant!

I am so sick of seeing all the unwarranted hate that is thrown at oatmeal raisin cookies. What are you people? Pathetic little babies who can't stand to ingest something (moderately) healthy? Just because you're a whiny little crybaby, doesn't mean that everyone else feels the same way! I happen to love oatmeal raisin and will sometimes willingly choose that OVER chocolate chip! Also, if you're so dumb, or nearsighted, that you mistake an oatmeal raisin cookie for a chocolate chip cookie, than you either need glasses, or - I don't know - you should just ask whoever made them what they are! Good grief. I'm done.

Well, that was cathartic! I'm so glad to have gotten these petty little rants off my chest. Now to move on to something more important, like, pretty much anything else. :p

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Let Me Introduce: Puddles Pity Party

I was putting together one of my TIIA posts and I suddenly realized that I've never shared any videos of Puddles on my blog! Who is Puddles you ask? Well, let me tell you, you are in for a treat. Unless you hate clowns. If that's the case, then you are better off just slamming your laptop closed as hard as you can, or frisbee-ing your iPad across the room through the nearest plate glass window, or kicking your computer monitor off the desk and running out the door screaming, because if you hate clowns, it's about to get all sorts of freaky up in here.

I should preface this by telling you that these are all Postmodern Jukebox videos. Postmodern Jukebox is always awesome, but when they team up with Puddles they transcend awesomeness. Especially when they cover Lorde.

Which they've done twice.

They've also covered Sia.

Among others.

This cover of Mad World is one of my absolute favorites. I just love the understated little dance.

Their latest video is a cover of a Twenty One Pilots song, one of the ones that just totally gets stuck in your head. :)

Can you see why I'm obsessed? No? Well, that's your loss then, isn't it?

Anyway, now that you've been enriched, go forth and spread the joy of Puddles. Or... well... the melancholy. Go forth and spread the melancholy of Puddles.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Rotoscopers Roundup 4

I realized today that I haven't done one of these posts in quite awhile, not since the end of April! It has been a pretty busy year at the Rotoscopers, we've all been working on a many-months-long project, reviewing every Disney animated film, counting down to the release of Moana later this month. I took on quite a few of those film reviews, and I also took in upon myself to write an intro article for each of the different eras of Disney animation. Plus I made the art for all those Era Introduction articles, and it wasn't just screenshots like usual, I put together actual timelines and logos in Illustrator! If you read those articles, make sure to pay attention to the art! Anyway, here is everything I've done for the Rotoscopers from May till now!

Introduction to Disney's Golden Age.

Review of Fantasia.

Review of Bambi.

Introduction to Disney's Wartime Era.

Review of The Three Caballeros.

Introduction to Disney's Silver Age.

Announcement of Steven Universe's summer return date.

Introduction to Disney's Bronze Age.

Review of The Rescuers.

Introduction to the Disney Renaissance.

First look at Disney XD's Milo Murphy's Law.

Introduction to Disney's Post-Renaissance Era.

Review of Fantasia 2000.

Announcement that Adventure Time is to end in 2018.

Review of Chicken Little.

Review of the season premier of Star Wars Rebels.

Introduction to Disney's Revival Era.

Announcement of the voice cast for Disney XD's Big Hero 6 animated series.

And that's it for now! The Disney Canon Countdown isn't quite over yet, but I have finished my contribution to it. My next task is to get caught up on reviewing Star Wars Rebels! In between school and work, I haven't had much time to even watch them! Wish me luck!

Friday, November 4, 2016

TIIA 24 (The Internet is Awesome)

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This week was Halloween, and while I don't have enough videos to do a dedicated Halloween post, I did want to feature the couple I did have, (both Disney related of course :p) starting with this awesome video from VoicePlay.

And then there was this one with Jon Cozart and a group I had not heard of before, Voctave.

And after that I followed the link to another amazing video that they did with Pentatonix's Kristen Maldonado.

So basically I found yet another awesome a-capella group to follow. :p

Something almost as scary as Halloween, Politics. I know, I know, normally I  won't touch politics on my blog with a ten foot pole, but there were a couple recent videos that pertain to the election that were just too good not to share.

Anyone following the election will remember the uproar earlier this year when Melania Trump seemed to have plagiarized a large portion of her speech from a speech that Michelle Obama had given a few years back. Well, the Gregory Brothers took those two speeches and turned them into something amazing.

And then there was this video that made me laugh till it hurt from Funny or Die.

Okay, enough of this scary stuff, back to the regular post. :p

The Hound + the Fox don't post often but, but when they do, it's sure to be good. Case in point, this excellent cover of For the Dancing and the Dreaming, from How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Alaa Wardi's a capella is always amazing, but this, very different, very not-a-cappella video he made in partnership with Reeses is a completely different kind of amazing. I love it.

Pentatonix recently put out this remix of their hit single, Can't Sleep Love, and even though this remix is no longer an a cappella song, I think I might love this version even more!

This video from A Capella Science is just amazing, you have to watch it. I can't even describe it, just watch it.

Evynne Hollens' tradition of Disney-fying popular songs continues in this massive collab with a bunch of other YouTubers, including Nick Pitera as Hans, and Peter Hollens as... Snow White?! Yes, it's as amazing as it sounds. :p

Monday, October 31, 2016

MORE EVEN MORE Amazing Trick-or-Treat Ideas

It's the post you almost didn't get, and probably wish you wouldn't have! Seriously. I almost forgot to write this. I planned on making this a yearly thing, and I have done it for the last three years, working on it for weeks and/or months before Halloween, and then this year I completely forgot! But, as luck would have it, or bad luck, depending on who you ask, one of the previous years' posts cam up in my Time Hop app yesterday, reminding me that I needed to write this! So I got to work on it as soon as I got home from work last night, and wrote it all up in just over an hour! So it's probably terrible! But at least I got it done! The tradition is unbroken!

If you're interested, the previous years' posts can be found at these links:
2013 - 2014 - 2015

On to the post!

Are you sick of trying to figure out what to hand out to all those irritating little humans that come around begging for things every single October 31st? It's SO annoying! Both the kids, and having to figure out what to buy them. But don't worry, I got u, fam. Whoops, sorry, slipped into some annoying teen lingo there. I've been on the internet too long. I mean, I've got you covered. Just follow any of these ten excellent ideas, and you'll be all set for another year of trick-or-treaters.

And as always, don't try any of these yourself, unless you like traumatizing children, receiving multiple lawsuits from angry parents, and visits from the police.

Cereal - When you open the door, make sure you are in your robe and pajamas, no matter what time of day it is. Sleepily look at the child as they say the traditional, "Trick-or treat!" greeting and then wearily reply, "Good morning sweetie. Did you want bran flakes or oatmeal this morning?" While the child is confused, dump some All Bran and milk into their treat bag, and slowly walk back inside, yawning and scratching your behind, forgetting to close the door.

A Flock of Live Chickens - If you're anything like me, you probably have an entire flock of chickens that you are absolutely sick to death of. It's such a common problem! Well have I got the solution for you! Just use halloween as an excuse to get rid of them! Hand every rotten little candy-beggar a chicken, and do not take it back, no matter how loud the kid screams as the chicken flaps and pecks them all over. If you'd like to traumatize as few children as possible, just choose one unlucky little kid to unleash the entire flock on! Open the door and just shove the clucking, cackling, flapping, squawking, pecking, mass out into the night! The kid will probably run away crying, and the chickens, sensing their fear, will follow like a flock of tiny little raptors, chasing after their prey. And that's it! You're chicken free!

A Slice of American Cheese - When you hear the doorbell ring, open the door as quickly as you can and splap one slice of unwrapped American cheese right in the kid's face and then slam the door.

Grandma's Dentures - This one only requires the cooperation of grandma, and her willingness to part with her false teeth. Just have her go to the door, and when the child says, "Trick-or-treat!" have her slowly remover her dentures and drop them in the child's bag, creepily making eye contact with them the entire time. When the child's mouth drops open in horror, have her say, "That's what CANDY does to ya, kid!" and then cackle evilly, walking backwards into the house, closing the door behind her.

A Fingernail Clipping - When the doorbell rings, answer the door dressed like a hillbilly's uncle. Clip one fingernail, drop it into the kid's bag, and then go back inside, never even saying a word.

A Broken Chainsaw - First you'll need to make sure the teeth have been removed from the chainsaw, you don't want angry parents coming after you with their lawyers again, not after that chicken incident. When a kid comes your door, a child who you feels most deserves a non-working chainsaw, then pull it out and yank the cord violently in their direction. When it doesn't work, stare at it disappointedly and say, "Oh well. I guess I don't need this one anymore." Then hand it to them as you close the door. Once back inside, begin screaming as loudly and shrilly as possible.

Negative Candies - For this one, you just remove candy from the kid's bag. Tell them you're teaching them about taxes or something.

A Popped Can of Biscuits - When you answer the door, pull out a can of biscuits, and bash it up against the side of the house until it pops, then plop several biscuit blobs into each child's bag. Look the kids straight in the eye and say, "Don't do drugs, kids." Then go back inside while they stare, open-mouthed.

An Orangutan Named Gerald McFingers - Admittedly this one is a stretch, but if you can find an orangutan named Gerald McFingers, give it to a kid on Halloween. You will make that kid's entire year.

Toilet Paper - For this one all you need to do is hand out the toilet paper instead of candy to trick-or-treaters, and wait for the inevitable backlash from the nasty little candy-crazed, greed-mutants. Just sit upstairs by an open window in the dark, and wait for them to start vandalizing your home. As soon as the first roll is tossed, just blast it with a full powered spray from your industrial strength flamethrower, disintegrating it immediately. For added effect, make sure you are blaring Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries at full volume on your 1997 Bose Acoustic Wave radio, and scream-laughing like the Joker hopped up on his own laughing gas. It will be a Halloween those kids will never forget.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

TIIA 23 (The Internet is Awesome)

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Let's start this post off right with another amazing song by Pentatonix. It's a medley of songs by Perfume, a Japanese pop group, and it's amazing.

Speaking of Pentatonix, you have got to see this video that Scott made for his and Mitch's personal channel, Superfruit. It is definitely not a Pentatonix song, but it's so good anyway.

Moving on to something completely different, the Gregory Brothers songified Cool Runnings, a movie from my family's childhoods that we watched many times.

As someone who grew up listening to classical music, and eventually discovered a cappella music, I absolutely loved this video by Jon Cozart.

Anyone who knows me probably knows how much I absolutely loved the show Gravity Falls. It has very sadly ended now, but this amazing cover of the theme song by The Warp Zone did help numb the pain a bit.

BYU's a capella group, Vocal Point doesn't seem to post on a regular basis, but whenever they do, you know it's going to be worth the wait.

VoicePlay + Panic at the Disco = I never knew I needed this!

As I seem to do all the time, lets end this post with another Peter Holens video. He recently released an entire album of music from and based on the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. As amazing as every song on the album was, by far my favorite was this song with Hank Green.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Minnesota Adventure!

In August my cousins Shaina and Sasha and I went to Minnesota. We wanted to go to the Mall of America, and visit my cousin Kyle, who works at an awesome graphic design company. My cousin Mandi also lives near the twin cities so we stayed with her for almost a week.

The first day we were there we ended up babysitting while Mandi was stuck at the cell phone store getting her phone fixed. Which apparently didn't even happen and they kept her there for hours. We didn't go anywhere that day, but we ended up having a lot of fun anyway.

The girls took to Shaina right away. They were like instant best friends. :)

Trinity insisted I take a picture of her handiwork here for some reason. :p

And also herself.

She is a ham. :p

Here she told me that this was a mother carrying her baby in her mouth.
It did not look that way. :p

Sasha went to Walmart and came back with coloring books and craft supplies for the kids.
Trinity and Afton ended up coloring with Shaina and Sasha, while Tanner, Cody, and and I played video games on our DS's. I think we accidentally segregated ourselves. :p

On one of the days, not sure which, Mandi and I noticed that we accidentally wore matching shirts.
I didn't get a picture, but she posted on Instagram, so I borrowed that. :)

The next day we went to the Mall of America, where I finally broke down and bought what would become my first Funko Pop figure. The first of many. I bought a bunch more before the end of vacation. I should do a blog post about those one of these days.

I also took this picture to send to my cousin Sarah who wasn't with us. We both love Kid President, and I found this doll of him at the mall.

The next day we went to visit Kyle at Ultra Creative.

Shaina found their arcade machine from the 80's and was hooked.

Shaina has a huge thing for all things 80's. :)

Before we took the tour, we went out to eat at an awesome brick oven style pizza restaurant.

Trinity was more interested in playing with Shaina than eating her pizza. :p

Later that night, back at Ultra Creative, we all got the grand tour.

Kyle's brother, Trent came along too. :) Uncle Dick was there too, but I've been through my pictures like three times, and apparently I didn't get any pictures with him in them!

Ultra Creative has all kinds of awesome surprises. :)

Kyle showed us some things that his company has been working on.

And some stuff that he's done himself!

If you see any of these halloween monster cereals out there, just know that Kyle drew the box art!

There are so many cool rooms around Ultra Creative.

This room has soundproof padding, windows that turn opaque, and a TV hidden in the table!

These look like wood or something, but they're actually kind of a soft foam.

Ultra Creative has a huge library of creativity boosting books and magazines.

There are also scooters that you can use to quickly get around the entire office. I rode one, and I managed to do a full circle around the entire floor, but I don't have any pictures of it. Which is probably for the best. I was probably within inches of killing myself. I felt like I was anyway. :p

And that's all my pictures! We did other things on our trip, but a lot of it was just shopping and playing with the kids, so I didn't have my phone out to take pictures. I guess we were just having too much fun. We loved spending time with Mandi and the kids, and everyone loved hanging out together. Mandi and Shaina were instant kindred spirits, just like I knew they would be. (Seriously, I'd actually been saying they should be friends since I was a kid. :p) We all had so much fun that we're already thinking about going back. We'll see what happens next year! :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

TIIA 22 (The Internet is Awesome)

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Another photo-post is coming soon, but I'm still trying to catch up on videos, so here's another TIIA post. I'll have a real update soo, hopefully within the week.
Let's start this post out with another Evynne Hollens Disney song. :)

Depending on your tolerance for different covers of the same song, a lot of this post might get repetitive for you, so bear with me. If it helps, even though they're all exactly the same, they're also all completely different. :p

Dreamworks has a new movie coming out based on the old Trolls dolls from when I was a kid, but the movie has become completely overshadowed by the song that was released from the soundtrack earlier this summer. It's actually amazing, most likely more amazing than the movie itself will be, but I'll reserve judgement for now. Anyway, as with any song that receives massive mainstream hit status, it gets covered by YouTubers. Lots of YouTubers. :p

KHS and Co.

Home Free

Nick Pitera

And most uniquely, PMJ

And that's it. I'm sure there are a lot more, but these were the best. :)

Now let's completely change directions with this video that went viral awhile back, a strange German commercial starring cats. The internet truly is awesome.

Next is clip from the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he is interviewing the incomparable Carol Burnett. It is so good.

We'll end this post with another amazing song from Peter Hollens.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TIIA 21 (The Internet is Awesome)

In case you are wondering, yes I did just put one of these out, but I kind of have a backlog of these video posts, I went through my saved videos last week, and put together like 6 of these posts, so I would like to publish them a lot sooner than once a month, otherwise I'd be posting them until next year. And I'm already collecting new favorite videos, so I need to catch up before I get overrun again. On to the videos!

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We'll start this post out with one of my favorite Peter Hollens videos he's ever done, a collaboration with both Devin Graham and Evynne Hollens. For like a month after this song came out I had it on a continuous loop on every drive to work. I've never even played the game that this song came from, I just love it. :p

Speaking of robots, this is one of my all time favorite songs by Tessa Violet. I only wish she'd release a full music video of the fully produced version. This is just the acoustic version, which is beautiful on its own, but I do love the more electronic-y version. :)

Nataly Dawn + Kurt Hugo Schneider + Taylor Swift = This amazingness.

As I've said before, I love it when different artists put their own spin on the same song, and Evynne Hollens definitely put her own spin on it. :)

The Gregory Brothers have been making Sad Happy songs and Happy Sad songs for awhile, but this one is one of the best ones they have ever done.

I'm not sure where I came across this next video. All I know is that it went viral awhile back, and it was hauntingly beautiful. The only problem is this video is WAY too short. The good news is that she actually has a YouTube channel where she does this every once in awhile, but this is definitely the best version.

Normally when Pogo does his Disney/movies remixes, he makes the music video using the actual clips from the movies that he cobbled together to make the music, but for some reason, as odd as it is, I kind of love this weird little lip sync video he made instead.

We'll end this with another Lindsey Stirling video, this time a music video for the song she did for the new Disney movie Pete's Dragon! I was stoked to hear she'd been invited to not just do a song, but to actually be the featured violinist for the entire film! I can't wait to hear the soundtrack!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


I wrote these true facts ages ago, mainly for my cousin, who loves unicorns, but I kind of left them on my phone and forgot about them. I came across them a couple days ago and decided that now was as good a time as any to post them, so here they are! True facts about unicorns!


Did you know that unicorns are believed to have gone extinct around 600 years ago? The last known unicorn was documented in medieval tapestries. #TrueFact

Did you know that unicorns could not actually fly? They actually propelled themselves through the air with a combination of extraordinary leaps and levitation. And also mind powers. #TrueFact

Did you know that there were more than one breed of unicorn? There was even one rare breed that was carnivorous! Though, this particular breed only ate monkey squirrels, and that's why monkey squirrels are also extinct. #TrueFact

Did you know unicorns could be tamed by anyone? It is a common misconception that only virginal maidens could tame them, but that is just not true. Anyone trying to catch one could, as long as they used their favorite foods as bait: spinach and candy canes. #TrueFact

Did you know that unicorns used their horns as tattoo machines? They would use them to tattoo pictures onto each other's flanks. This is where the idea for the My Little Pony toys' cutie marks originated. #TrueFact

Did you know that unicorns invented yodeling as a warning to predators? This was actually quite effective, as it was absolutely terrifying. #TrueFact

Did you know that unicorns could play the lute with their mind powers? #TrueFact

Did you know unicorns invented the scrunchy in the '80s? The 1480's, that is. They wore the scrunchies on their tails along with four leg warmers while they dancercized to their favorite Gregorian chants. #TrueFact

Did you know that most current unicorn sightings are actually just horses with a parsnip duct taped to their forehead? #TrueFact

Did you know unicorns could travel through time? This is why, despite some confusion, due to the whole parsnip thing, a few actual unicorns are still seen in remote forests to this day. #TrueFact

Thursday, September 22, 2016

TIIA 20 (The Internet is Awesome)

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Everyone stop what you're doing! Pentatonix just collaborated with Dolly Parton! I never knew how much I needed this! This is amazing!

Lindsey Stirling just released a new album last month and every song is amazing. It follows then that the videos for those songs should also be amazing. And they are.

Postmodern Jukebox has a habit of taking a song that could get old because it's so popular and literally everywhere, and putting a fresh new spin on it that makes it completely different. Case in point: A bluegrass cover of Major Lazer and Justin Bieber's Cold Water.

This new song by Tessa Violet is so good, but I can barely focus on it because the music video is just so amazing!

And now, for something completely different. I'm not even going to tell you what this is, you just need to experience it.

This song is blowing up this year, and I am really enjoying it! The best part about a song getting so popular, is that everyone wants to cover it! Like Kina Grannis!

And Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Scheider!

We'll end this with another amazing Peter Hollens video, a medley of The Sound of Music with Shay Carl and his family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Strange (But Really Cool) Coincidence

Yesterday I put together post about my Grandpa Bell's funeral. I edited the photos in the afternoon, wrote it that evening, and put it all together last night. I put it up on the blog and scheduled the post for this morning on Facebook and then went to sleep.

Then this morning I woke up to this picture in my Timehop.

So, it might seem like I did this on purpose, but I didn't! Completely by coincidence I posted my blog post, including this same picture, exactly one year after Grandpa's 90th birthday party.

Now, I'm not one of those people who believes that this was a sign that Grandpa is looking down from heaven and sending me a message or whatever, but it was such a cool, strange coincidence that I thought it was worth posting about. :)

Grandpa Bell

As most of you know, my Grandpa Bell died last month. Sadly it was the same day as Jacob's wedding. We found out as we left the reception. I didn't want to mention that in the post about the wedding, but thought I should mention it here. We knew it was coming, but it was still a shock.

As funerals tend to do, we had a ton of family brought together that week. I took a bunch of pictures before and after the funeral, so I wanted to share them here. Before I do that though, I did want to share a couple of the pictures I took at Grandpa's 90th birthday party last year. All his kids made it down for that special occasion, and we had to photograph it. This was my best picture from the day.

My other favorite picture I took that day was this one. There were a bunch of really old photos on a table at the party and I decided to arrange and photograph them. I'm really glad I did.

We miss you grandpa.

The whole weekend of the funeral, my nephew Jackson was the center of attention.

Dad is obsessed with Jackson the most, and of course gets first dibs as grandpa, but Mandi loves all babies and had to be persuaded to relinquish him. :)

We spent a lot of time at Uncle John and Aunt Becky's house that weekend. It's a great place for big family gatherings.

I swear I didn't put an Instagram filter on this picture, it just turned out this way!

Jared had a story to tell and Afton was a captive audience.

The funeral home was decorated so nicely. Lots of amazing pictures from the past.

That big one was taken by my cousin Kim. It's one of the best pictures any of us had of him.

It's one of my favorites. It's just the perfect picture of him.

I didn't get any more pictures here after this because I just feel weird about taking pictures at funerals. Plus I was a pallbearer and had to focus on that. I'm glad that Mandi was there because she stepped up and took some great pictures that day.

I don't think anyone likes funerals, but grandpa's was really nice, and a fitting tribute to him. I'm really glad I was a part of it.

After the funeral all the pallbearers were given a shell from the guns that were fired at the ceremony. I put mine on my bookshelf, next to a couple of diamonds from Jacob's wedding.

After the funeral we had a picnic in a park, though I didn't get any pictures there either, because it was a lot of people I didn't know and the few I did were too scattered.

After that, the family all headed back to Aunt Becky and Uncle John's.

Sometime later, an ice cream truck came by for some reason, while a bunch of people were outside, and Uncle John bought everyone ice cream!

The rest of these pictures were probably taken the next day. We went back to Uncle John and Aunt Becky's after church on Sunday.

I loved this picture of Grandma and Maggie. :)

Then Jackson was back to being the center of attention.

That's all I've got. It was an emotional weekend, but really nice too.