Monday, February 28, 2011

And the Oscar goes to the Auto-Tune Montage

Ah what a crazy week its been.  I haven't had much time to post anything because its the dreaded midterms week here at Creighton.  Somehow I've managed to make my last semester here my busiest yet.  So much for those lazy afternoons doing nothing! Anyway, I took some time out of my rigorous study schedule (not really) to watch the Oscars.  As an entertainment junkie, I love award shows but usually am disappointed when they never live up to expectations.... unless its the 2009 VMA's with an MJ tribute, a Lady Gaga performance, and Kanye vs. Taylor.  The show wasn't bad, but I had a few issues with it...

1. When you are pushing hard for a younger audience and hiring people like Anne Hathaway and the always sexy/ always high James Franco to host you should probably  consider giving more awards to movies that a younger demographic has actually seen.  The King's Speech is good period piece, but what about game changing, revolutionary movies like Black Swan or Inception.  How about a culturally profound and relevant choice like The Social Network?  "No thanks" says the Academy.... "We'll stick with the stammering King."

2. More autotune please.  Seriously the autotuned montage was one of the most entertaining parts.  I think they should have considered autotuning Kirk Douglas' speech as well.... or maybe it already was autotuned.


3.  Back to the hosts... I love Anne and James.... really I do but they were pretty boring.  Especially James who seemed to be on another planet the whole time, but really what did we expect from him? Have you seen Pineapple Express, or any interview he's ever done? I'm surprised he was able to sit still long enough to actually film 127hrs.

4. The acceptance speeches.  If you were nominated there is a chance you will win, and you know that.  It's great to act humble and surprised but don't act dumb.  You should have prepared at least something for the millions of people watching... its embarrassing for you and a waste of time for me if you are going to just stand there looking dumbfounded at the shiny little statue you're holding and then say "I can't believe it." You. are. a. movie. star. this is not a shock to the rest of the world, where have you been?

Okay enough about the bad things. There were a few things I was pretty happy about.  For one the Bob Hope moment was clever and touching.  I also was happy with many of the award winners.  It was great to see Natalie Portman win Best Actress for Black Swan, which I think was well deserved.  I also was glad to see Christian Bale get some love.  Inception (my pick for movie of the year) didn't get shut out completely thanks to visual effects and sound categories (and a clever intro to the show).


Overall.... not the best year (Especially if you're True Grit which had 10 noms and won a whopping 0... I mean even Wolfman won an award!).  But, on the bright side we may have some contenders for next year's hosts.  I thought Sandra Bullock and Robert Downey Jr. were awesome presenters and would make awesome hosts.... but hey I'm just a 21 year old kid, why would the academy ever take my opinion into consideration?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hufflepuff Know Whats Up. Put Yo Put Yo Hands Up.

Some people are addicted to Facebook, or Twitter, or checking their email..... I'm addicted to YouTube (oh and all those other things too).  I feel it's my responsibility to find hidden gems among all the cyber crap and then force family and friends to watch these amazing videos and laugh even when they aren't funny.  Also,  I just get really bored in my product operation management class.  Monday night from 6-9 has become my most productive time of the week.  I get blogs written, homework done, and catch up on a lot of emails.  On the downside I'm probably failing the class I'm tyring so hard to block out.  But that's not really important.... So the point is, I've compiled some of my favorites below... I've done my job, and brought them to your attention.  Watch them, or not, but seriously... the balls in your court.

 Like a G6 Harry Potter style
It may come as no surprise that I'm starting this off with a HP musical parody. Half of these videos will probably involve either A music B a parody of something or most likely C both.   This little shin dig was originally sent to me by my sister and every time I hear it it makes me smile." Butterbeer's flowin cus we got all this money in Gringotts. Ah yeah!"

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On-
I first saw this video during a sorority chapter meeting. Its so dang awkward/pathetic/ridiculous that its really funny.  If you like this check out Charlie the Cheez-It


Best News Bloopers Ever-
this is a longtime favorite of mine.  Partially due to the fact that I first saw it on one of the best nights of my life Rockin Shoppin Eve 2007.  So many great clips in here.  The woman falling off the podium, the violent crime tantrum, and the nice pussy lady.  It's always funny to see people on tv embarrass themselves in epic ways.  It makes us feel better about ourselves, which is all that really matters, right?

Literal Harry Potter
Another HP favorite.  Courtesy of my sister Emily as well.  Amazing that someone who never read a Harry Potter book (unless you count the last chapter of each book... yeah she's that person) has been the source of so many great HP parodies.  This one is seriously hilarious for anyone, whether you've seen HP or not. 

 If you like these Harry Potter parodies check out Dear Reader (this is my fav. chapter  This guy narrates the entire first movie in the most ridiculous sarcastic way possible.  I have the full audio file if you are interested  :) yes I've watched the entire movie with just his voice.... and you can too!

The One and Only Charliece Show.
This list wouldn't be complete without a personal plug for my own little YouTube video.  The Charliece show was created by me and my sister Kelsey.  This is the second episode of about 5 or so.  Honestly we have many funnier videos but Emily and Kelsey are embarrassed of our Lady Gaga remakes and I am banned from posting them.  Sorry. you're missing out. The outfits were epic. This will have to suffice. 

Beiber Fever Parody

The Key of Awesome ( some of the greatest music parodies of all time.  It was hard to choose just one, but Bieber does the trick. I  tried to find one of Esperanza Spalding (i don't even care if that's spelled right)  but for some reason I couldn't..... oh wait you probably don't know who that is.  Well she won the Grammy for Best New Artist.... yeah what a travesty. Don't worry,you won't catch Beiber Fever unless you're a single mom or substitute teacher.

John Mayer- I think that she knows interlude
Favorite song of my life? Possibly.  This is the back end of Justin Timberlake's Lovestoned song.  I thought it couldn't get better.... until John Mayer threw down this amazing guitar piece to it.  My guitar dream is to someday have a Collings I-35 guitar and be able to play this.  So great. 

There ya have it. I'm sure I'll be back with more videos soon.  I'm sure you'll be bookmarking this site, and waiting on the edge of your seat. Great things come to those who wait.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Road Trip to Mankato

So this past weekend I took a road trip up to Minnesota to visit my friend Kyle and celebrate his 21st birthday with him.  After a long week of classes and work I hit the road on Friday afternoon.  It's about a 5 hour drive from Omaha to UM-Mankato.  Luckily our other friend Jeremy was able to come to so I picked him up in Sioux City on the way.  It was nice to have company on the long drive.  Jeremy and I enjoyed the trip and had some great music pumping and good conversation too.  Jeremy and Kyle have been two of my closest friends for about the past 8 years, but we all go to different colleges.  Needless to say, getting together with them is a rare blessing.  We have a great time together, but because of sport, school, and work schedules we really don't get to see each other much.  To be able to spend the whole weekend with them celebrating was a much needed break from the school routine.

On Friday night we got to Mankato and loaded all of our stuff into Kyle's apartment.  We met all of Kyle's baseball buddies and headed down to a local bar and grill for dinner and a very competitive game of darts (which Jeremy and I won).  After dinner we hit the Makato bars in order to make the most of the 2-for-1 deals that end at 11. Yay for Cherry Bombs :).  The bars in Mankato were a lot of fun, and all within walking distance from each other.  We made sure Kyle made the most of his night and got home late after great night!

On Saturday we all slept in....real late.  I hit up Caribou Coffee (apparently MN hates Starbucks) immediately.  We just hung around the house during the afternoon and watched a movie and reminisced on the good-ole-days of AHS. oh boy.  We also took a little tour of the University of Minnesota-Mankato where Kyle goes to school.  Definitely a pretty cool school.  I loved how their student union had a bowling ally and pool tables! Creighton.... take a hint.  Unfortunately I was left behind during the locker room tour... not sure why we needed to see the baseball locker room at all (unless it had been shower time (; ), but I wasn't too disappointed about missing that spot.  Kyle's sister and her husband showed up around 5 and we hit up Mexican Village for some Margaritas and Nachos! The Margaritas packed a surprisingly powerful punch which made the food taste even better than it probably was.  Jeremy and I were planning on staying over Saturday night and heading downtown with everyone, but the weather started to get bad.  Jeremy and I ended up driving home from Mankato Saturday night.  I dropped J off in Sioux City and got back to Omaha a little after midnight. I was kept awake by the lightning show in the sky and of course some great tunes from my BackBeats.

Overall it was a great trip to MN.  The only downside was that technology completely failed me.  My computer screen (that has been getting progressively worse since I cracked the LCD screen in Nov.) went completely black, and I left my phone charger in Mankato. Awesome.  Luckily my computer is getting fixed and US Cellular gave me a free charger for the week until I can get mine back.  You might be wondering how I'm writing this wonderful blog if I don't have a computer (you probably didn't even think about that.... and you probably don't care) but luckily Creighton has done something right and has some sweet new mac desktops in the Coba lab.  Looks like I'll be living in here until my computer is fixed. Until next time...

Old school pic of Jeremy, me, and Kyle!
Love these guys :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

About Me

01) What are your nicknames?
Until college it was Beans. which seems weird but literally everyone called me that. there is really no reason for it... my parents just called me that and it stuck... for 20 years.  now its larneson or larney mostly. Not many people call me Laura.

02) What was your dream growing up?
I had so many... I was set on being a paleontologist at one point, and an astronaut, I also idolized Mia Hamm and thought I'd play professional soccer, then it was an actress or rock star, I also legitimately wanted to be President.  haha I had big dreams i guess. 

03) What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I was an amazing singer.  As a guitar player and obsessive music junkie it would be really great to be able to sing really well. 

04) Do you care what others think about you?
yeah... probably too much.  I've gotten better as I've grown up but I'm very self-conscious about my reputation which has its pros and cons i suppose. 

05) What is your current desktop picture?
Safeco Field with the Seattle skyline in the background.  I took the picture at a Mariners/ Yankees game. 

06) What was the last book you read?
The Shack.... so amazing. My dad gave it to me. If you haven't read it stop reading this crap and go get it now. 

07) What zodiac sign are you?
Aquarius duh.

08) Any Tattoos?
No.... but I'm getting one, maybe.   I'm so indecisive on what I would want and where.

09) Worst Habit?
biting my nails... my mom literally smacks me when i do it.  

10) What's your favorite TV show?
haha the million dollar question.  I'm obsessed with TV. I watch like 15 shows via DVR a week.  I'm not really a casual TV watcher though, I actually schedule it into my day. If I had to choose an all-time favorite I'd say Lost... nothing can replace that show.

11) What is your favorite sport?
To watch - College football and Elite Track and Field.  To play - probably flag football :)

12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?
I'm a glass half-full-kind-of-girl.  I'm really optimistic... what's the point of being a downer?

13)Do you like musicals? 
YES! Love musicals.  My absolute favorite is Wicked.  I would give my arm to see Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth together.  The music is amazing. 

14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
Probably when my appendix blew up and I was in the hospital for 2 weeks in high school.  It totally destroyed my cross-country season... oh and everything in my stomach too.  

15) Tell me one random/weird fact about you.
hmmm... I've broken my leg, hand, and collar bone. The first one wasn't my fault.... the other two were definitely my fault and both occurred on 11/11 one year apart from each other. 

16) Are you currently single?
very much so

17) What was your favorite game to play as a child?
I always loved Life and Dream Phone.  Most of the games I played were ones I made up though... i played with my sisters and made the rules up as I went so that I'd always win. I was a competitive kid. 

18) Would you rather be rich or healthy?
Healthy for sure.  My lifestyle is way to active to deal with being unhealthy. 

19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
Scary... always scary.  

20) Favorite Movie franchise?
Easy. Pirates of the Caribbean. I'm pretty obsessed with it. I actually get defensive when people hate on Pirates. I could probably quote every line in the movies. 

21) Has a song ever made you cry?
Music is pretty much the only thing that can make me cry.  The artist most likely to make me cry is probably Alli Rogers. Most power ballads will do it too if the timing is right :)  

22) What color eyes do you have?
I used to think brown... but they are more green now... i guess that's hazel then. 

23) Ever been arrested?
No way. I like to think I'm more of a bad ass than i really am. 

24) Bottle or can soda?
Neither. Not a huge soda...or as i say.... pop fan.  If I had to choose I'd say bottle of root beer. 

25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Go on vacation to somewhere really warm. Or get a crazy expensive new guitar.  I should probably save it though... seeing as I'm in college and broke.

27) What's your favorite place to hang out?
Starbucks... there are few places I love more than Starbucks.  

28) Do you believe in ghosts?
Yeah I think so.  more like spirits though.  I think there are good and evil spirits probably.  wow that sounds ridiculous... never mind. idk.

29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
I'm a big youtube fan.  I find the most bizarre videos on there.  I also love 

30) What’s your favorite gambling game?
Apparently i'm lucky at video poker.... but i'd love to be able to count cards and play blackjack. that'd be awesome... is that illegal? maybe i could get arrested :) 

31) Biggest pet peeve?
slow drivers. ugh their the WORST! just get where you're going and don't slow me down. 

32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?

33) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
I believe in it.  I don't see it very often.... but i think it's out there. I definitely appreciate it. 

34) Favorite and least favorite food?
hmmm dang i love food.  chocolate is a cop out but I love, love, love chocolate.  Least favorite food is probably like coleslaw or fish, i don't really like fish. but i like shrimp... it's not my favorite though. 

35) Do you believe in God?
yeah, with all my heart.

36) Do you parallel park or drive around the block?
i got pretty good at parallel parking when i was in Portland.... but in Omaha I'm lazy and i drive around the block.

37) Who is the last person you think about before you fall asleep?
depends on the night i guess.... but I often fall asleep during my prayers so a lot of times it's Jesus :) 

38) Have you ever been cow-tipping?
Almost.... In high school we my friend lived by a field with cattle and we were close enough to do it but we chickened out.  

39) Do you have any siblings? are you close?
2 younger sisters. They are my best friends in the world! 

40) Do consider yourself to be a happy person?
Yes! Life is great :) 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Equation for Success

I am currently reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell for class.  I was writing my reflection on it when I realized that this would be a good post topic.  Basically the book is about the  factors that contribute to high levels of success in individuals. This is a topic I've always been interested in, why are some people successful when others aren't? How much control do we have over our success? For class I had to create my own success equation. This is what I came up with based on my experience and understanding of what success is.  

For years, I have heard my father repeat the phrase “Luck is really preparation meets opportunity” many, many times.  In Outliers, Gladwell says, “Achievement is talent plus preparation.”  While these two statements don’t say quite the same thing, they do have something in common.  They both propose a formula for achieving success.  In my mind and through my experiences, I think success is a result of four things….
1. Inherent, God-given talent
2. Passion
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
4. Miraculous, God-granted opportunity

In my mind this is the ultimate package.  However, it is important to note that in this model it is impossible to succeed without God being a key player throughout the process.  Someone wouldn’t have to know their talent and opportunities came from God to be successful, but I think it makes success much more fulfilling and easier to cope with if you know the truth of the source of your success.  So, while everyone would not agree with me on this, I believe it is impossible to find success in life without God’s grace. 

The second step is passion.  I am extremely passionate about the importance of passion. Seriously!  One of my favorite quotes is from Oscar Wilde, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” I feel like this statement is unfortunately very true in today’s society.  So many people don’t seem to know who they are. I feel very grateful to have had so many passions in life.  Sometimes I may seem a little over-zealous with things I care about, but I would much rather be fanatical about something than apathetic towards everything.  Passion is what makes it worth getting up each day.  Who wouldn’t want to open their eyes each morning to the possibilities of the day rather than the problems?
My favorite part of my success equation is the 3rd step.  Practice.  Most people understand the concept, but few have the nerve to actually see it through to the point of true success and beyond.   I put passion before practice for a reason.  It is nearly impossible to put the amount of practice in to be successful without being sincerely passionate about what you are practicing.  For me, the things I have become good at have never seemed like work.  For instance I have spent countless hours learning guitar.  At first it seemed impossible, it took me a week to learn three chords.  Six years later it’s nothing special to learn songs in a few minutes.  You just get better with time. 
When it comes to running and my knowledge of the culture, coaching, mechanics, and psychology, well I can thank my dad for that.  To begin with, I was blessed with being a fairly smart child that probably knew too much for my own good, as well as at least some genetic talent for running.  More importantly, since I was ten months old I have been immersed in the world of running because of my father, a very knowledgeable coach and experienced runner.  When I was just a toddler I thought my best friends were the high school boys XC team, seriously.  I’ve tagged along to coaching clinics, national meets, and sat up late (which was probably like 8pm at that point) with my dad countless nights going over results and time charts to plan the next workout, to strategize for the upcoming meet.  If you remember the little girl from Remember the Titans, who lived football with her dad the coach.... well that was me, but with running.   
Now, two decades later I may have the opportunity to make a career in the running industry .  If I put together my talent, passion, and ample amount of exposure to the sport, that still isn’t enough.  I had to be given the opportunity.  By the grace of God I was led to a school that had some amazing connections to a company I loved, without even knowing it.  Furthermore, I was led to professors and staff members who saw something in me, and advocated for me when the time was right.  My opportunities to work at Nike this past summer, and hopefully full time when I graduate, were the latest steps in a long path that began when I was too young to run or even walk for that matter. 
So, talent, passion, hard work, and timing.... that's the equation for success, but there are rules.  You usually can’t skip a step, there are things you can’t control within the process, and there are things only God controls in the process. And sometime you have to go through a lot of crap that seems like it will never end.  Sometimes life will be unfair... most times life will be unfair.  When everything but timing falls through it can be discouraging, but you'll end up where you are meant to be.  Your opportunity will come. Just make sure that when it does, you've already done the hard part, you've put in the work, you're  waiting patiently, ready to take the leap and hold on tight for the wonderful journey ahead.

Wow this was a long post.... guess I was feeling philosophical today :) I'll try to keep the next post a little shorter and less heady! Have a great day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

So You Think You Know Music...

Hello Hello!  I have survived the snowpocalypse in Omaha this week and I'm back to write some more.  So I have actually restrained myself from this topic since I started my blog last week.  This will come as no surprise to those who know me, but I get really passionate about things I like, sometimes to a fault.  It can be anything from movies, books, music, people, hobbies, brands etc.  Anyway, the point is I get really attached to things and end up spending most of my time focusing on these things and not my homework, which I have all but quit in my last semester.  So.... the most recent love of my life is a cappella music, thanks in part to the Sing Off on NBC.  I've always been a music junkie, but I'm a full-fledged addict to a cappella music now.  I literally can't walk or drive anywhere without it blasting on my speakers.  For those of you familiar with the show this whole thing began with the Back Beats and their rendition of Landslide... which was amazing.  Unfortunately, they didn't win the competition, but the good news is that I began an in depth search on line for them and my other favorite group, U of Oregon's On The Rocks (sure I may have been a little biased because they were from Oregon, but seriously they rock).  Come to find out, OTR just came out with a new CD, "A Fifth",  and my favsie BackBeat, CJ, was on the show last year with BYU's all female group, Noteworthy (who also just released a CD "Defined").  The point is, I feel that I owe it to the cyber world to spread the word about these amazing groups.  I mean, these people are 10 times more talented than anything on the radio. It probably isn't appropriate for me to post all 100 a cappella songs I've collected on here. It also probably isn't appropriate that I've attempted to book them for our school even though I'm no longer authorized to do this as Special Events Coordinator... oh well :) So I tried to save you time and I attempted to choose just a couple. Watch them, love them, this is music America.

OTR's All The Above

Noteworthy's Happy Ending

Noteworthy's How Great Thou Art - Int. Championships of A Cappella (They got 1st obviously)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasha Paige

So I'm pretty impressed that I have stuck with this blog for 2 whole days now :) these things I start always seem to slip my mind and fall off the map.  Lets hope I keep the motivation alive a little longer.  I just realized that I need to invite people to read my blog... I guess that makes sense.  I mean I doubt anyone is going to randomly stumble across this and have any interest in it (if you did than great! keep reading if you want). Otherwise, hello to my family and friends that I have guilted into reading about my life :)  I'll try to keep it interesting.  

I wish my second post had a happier tone, but there is only one thing that I really feel like I should write about right now.  Tonight my little dog Tasha passed away after 11 great years.  I'm still in the shock stage... but I'm sure the sadness will come.  She has been pretty sick for a while and she died on here own so we didn't have the difficult task of taking her into the vet to be put to sleep.  But I've literally grown up with her for over half of my life and it's hard to imagine home without her.  I was planning to go home this weekend to see her for most likely the last time... but this weekend is just a little to late.  I regret not being home tonight with her.  It definitely makes me miss my family and will have to take a little vacation home soon to reenergize.  As I was talking to my family about her it reminded me of some funny stories with her.  I'll always remember all her little quirks and will miss waking up to her sleeping on my feet at home :)

Coincidentally, I was looking through one of my old song books earlier today and was playing a really old song I wrote back in high school.  It had a whole different meaning when I wrote it... but as it turns out one verse fits well as a goodbye message to my loyal pup Tasha.... I'll end with that

What You Meant
How can it be that 
Time went so quickly
Seems I just met you 
And now you're gone
You left something 
That will never fade 
Our memories will 
Always live on
But I don't know how to say goodbye