a day in the life: 11 march 2016

A-Day-in-the-Life Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity is hosting her 2nd annual “A Day in the Life” series, where bloggers share a normal day outside of writing about books on their blogs. This is my Friday, March 11, 2016.

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First up, I had a normal workday. Here’s (one side) of my office—two screens means business, people! I keep it pretty colorful and busy on the walls, though. I have original art mixed with concert posters, painting poster-size prints, calendars, and a photo collage of family and my babies (niece and nephew) to get me through the day. Most of my job in the marketing department consists of making the printed programs for our music school’s recitals and concerts, and managing the social media. My office is adjacent to the large ensemble rehearsal room, so on Friday I would have heard conducting class, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and one of the jazz bands have class and rehearsal all day. It’s a normal soundtrack to my days. People seem to be split—either they don’t know how I get any work done with the constant action and “noise,” others think it’s super cool to hear live music all day long. It’s a little bit of both for me, but by and large I like the students being around and hearing rehearsals. I’m so used it that when I try to work at home I usually need to put on records or TV in the background!

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I had a couple of errands to run after work. First, I submitted my completed challenge form to the KC Library, which has an adult reading program at the beginning of each year: read five books between January and March. There’s always a theme with suggested books on that theme, but you can read any five books and it counts. If you complete the challenge, you get a piece of awesome glassware (coffee mugs and an old fashioned glass in the past). This year I got a beer stein! Pic on the left above is the book circle sculpture at the entrance to the Plaza Branch.

After the library I swung by our favorite local vinyl shop, Mills Record Company in Westport, to pick up a record that I had on order that came in (Galactic’s Into the Deep). Of course while I was there I picked up another couple of records… Esperanza Spalding’s new one and The Band’s The Band.
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After these errands, I went over to P. Ott’s, a dive bar on the Plaza, where my husband and our friends were already celebrating one of our friend’s passing his dissertation defense that afternoon. We’re not a picture-taking group really, but I remembered to snap this one pic of a poster on the wall of the bar on my way out.

I left the party early because I was assigned to review the Alicia Olatuja Quintet at the historic Folly Theater in downtown Kansas City on its Folly Jazz Series. I love the Folly, it’s one of my favorite Kansas City venues.

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Olatuja was fantastic—she has a beautiful voice and a way of blending genres that’s both memorable and accessible to fans of all styles of music. I spent the weekend after the show writing up my review for KCMetropolis.org, Kansas City’s online journal of the arts, for which I’m also executive editor. Heres the review: Olatuja transcends the Spotlight

After the concert, I went BACK to P. Ott’s to rejoin the party! Nick and I were there until… I’m not even sure. After midnight, I think. I didn’t even read anything all day. Pretty typical!

IMG_1073This happened the next day (Saturday, March 12), but I thought I’d sneak it in this post since it’s a normal thing in my life! Saturday night I played a gig with one of my orchestras, Heritage Philharmonic, out in Blue Springs. We played Vaughan Williams’s Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus” and Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra. (There was more on the concert, played by other sections of the orchestra.) This is a selfie I snapped backstage waiting to go on. Fun times!

denver anniversary trip

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know we’ve been through Denver before, when Nick was a fellow at the Aspen Festival in 2013, but we didn’t spend much time in the city—just passed through. This time, we went to celebrate our anniversary with a Slash concert, and we had a really fun visit.

We drove in on Thursday, and immediately went to the nearest brewery, Station 26 Brewing Co. They don’t serve food, but the Meatball. food truck was there. The next day we shopped at Tattered Cover Books and Twist and Shout and came out with a real nice haul of books and records:

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After shopping, we hit up the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, which had a Marilyn Minter exhibit throughout the building (plus me in an egg):

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Before the concert, we had beers and dinner at Vine Street Pub & Brewery, just a mile from the Fillmore Auditorium where Slash was playing.
fillmoreThen on Saturday, we hit up Voodoo Doughnut for breakfast. Nick had already been to it in Portland, but this was my first time. We had the Pot Hole, the Diablos Rex, and a Memphis Mafia, which was so massive we saved it for breakfast the next day! Delicious. After the donuts, we wandered around the 16th Street Mall for a bit, where there was a zombie festival just getting started. There were djs, stations for makeup and accessories, fashion runways being set up, and tons of people in costumes all over the place. Generally, the area was a bit “touristy” for us, but all the zombie stuff was pretty cool.

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After the mall, we went back over to Station 26 Brewing Co. to meet up with a couple of friends from grad school who had moved to Denver. We were having such a good time we stayed the whole evening.

I wish I could have had one more day in Denver! It was a wonderful trip.

it’s labor day! what are you reading?

It’s Monday, what are you reading?—a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and I’m grateful for this paid holiday off work. While I love a good grill out on a day off such as this, I also like to reflect, remember, and read about the history of this holiday and all we’ve achieved thanks to hardworking union members. I know it’s not much, but to honor those that have fought and sacrificed (and died) for a decent living wage, fair hours, weekends off, and myriad policies we all benefit from today, I’m reading a bit more of There is Power in a Union by Philip Dray today. I have it on ebook, and it’s a chunkster, so you know those always take me a while to get through. I’ll probably also read a chapter or two more of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. I’ve also come across some great articles online this morning:

insta1During this three-day weekend I also had a sort of mini-readathon for myself, finishing Our Souls at Night by Kent HarufThe Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips, and (almost done with) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Reviews coming this week!

Otherwise, I’m having a lot of fun with my (old) new stereo set up. I had my mom’s old Dual 1019 turntable from the 70s all through high school—besides my guitars it was my favorite thing I had. I didn’t bring it with me when I left for college because I was first in the dorms, then I didn’t want to subject it to frequent apartment moves. stereoAnd after graduating, I felt like I might be on the verge of moving to a different city anytime, so why bring it down then? Well anyway I finally decided I wanted it, moving issues be damned, and I’m so glad! My dad fixed it up and helped me gather up the other components I needed. Nick and I are having a blast listening to records at home!

Another thing I recently started was an Instagram account. You can see the thumbnails in the right-hand column here on my blog now. I’m having a lot of fun with it, even though it can be a little awkward using an iPad mini and my regular camera instead of an iPhone. Follow me at @kristinshafel!

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Lastly: I hit my 6th blogoversary about a week ago! And also 500 followers this week! Thank you for joining me here 🙂

What are you reading this week?