brb, I’m traveling to Iran

Yes my dear friends, I am headed to the wonderful and glorious Tehran, Iran to visit family!

I am excited/anxious/ready/unprepared/thrilled for my upcoming adventure. We are seeing my dad’s entire side of the family in Tehran, as well as doing a site-seeing excursion in Isfahan, Iran.

I am extremely lucky to be able to experience my culture up close and personal. The sites and sounds of Tehran are truly spectacular, and it’s going to be great to experience it all with my family. This will be my second trip to Iran. I was lucky to be able to go with my dad and brother in the summer of 2006. Some highlights from that trip…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Iran is the fourth largest country of bloggers? Not only am I going to visit my cultural roots, but maybe I can talk to a blogger or two over there!

I will have Internet over there, but I probably won’t be blogging. Feel free to send some love my way via e-mail or Facebook!

“Ba’adan mibinamet   بعدأ میبینمت” — See you later!

Mid-Week Music – Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby by Counting Crows

With all the blogging excitement, Mid-Week Music this week was unfortunately pushed back to Thursday (sorry!)

I am going with Steven to the beautiful Maryhill Winery on Saturday to see Counting Crows in concert! I have loved this band for quite some time. I mean, who can’t help but love “Mr. Jones” and “A Long December” from the 90′s?

This song has been a favorite of ours for the past year because of it’s quirkiness. The melody is upbeat and lively and the lyrics, although gorgeous, are haunting.

“If you’ve never stared off into the distance then your life is a shame.
And though I’ll never forget your face, sometimes I can’t remember my name” 

The few, the proud, the “Freshly Pressed”

I won the blog lottery!

As many of you know (or have heard me tweet/talk/text/Facebook), my post “I love Mad Men…and why you should too” was chosen as a Word Press “Freshly Pressed” blog for yesterday.

“Freshly Pressed” is a section on the Word Press website where the site chooses ten blogs to “represent how Word Press can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire.” So basically, someone from Word Press (aka my new best friend) decided that “Life of Roya” would be one of ten blogs that would be featured on the site all day yesterday and this morning.

The heading for yesterday’s Freshly Pressed section was… “The best of 348,190 bloggers, 765,526 new posts, 444,643 comments, & 311,836,067 words posted today on WordPress.com.” And my little Mad Men post was deemed as one of the best?!

All I can say is…“You like me! You really like me!”

Watching the comments and blog hits was way too exciting. This experience was a totally a blogger’s adrenaline rush.

My blog’s stats are completely off the charts since being featured on “FP” and they are continuing to grow and grow! Just to show you about the power of “going viral,” here are my up-to-date stats…

“Life of Roya”                                    Before “FP”                            After “FP”

For all-time blog hits:                        662 hits                                   4,786 hits

For record daily blog hits:                40 hits                                     4,124 hits

For blog comments:                         8 comments                            116 comments

For blog post “likes”:                       0 likes                                      91 likes

For blog subscribers:                      4 subscribers                          30 subscribers

Basically I have to say…

Thank you to Word Press, everyone who read my blog yesterday, new subscribers, and my family/friends/boyfriend/co-workers who have listened to me talk and talk about my blog.

What an awesome (and completely random) experience to have as a young blogger!

I love Mad Men… and why you should love it too

Mad Men. If you have talked to me this past summer, you know that I have fallen in love with the series.

I have become THAT girl that will ask you…

“Oh my god, do you watch Mad Men?” “Don’t you love Don Draper?” “Could I work in advertising?” “How do I dress like Joan?” “Have you been to Banana Republic lately to see the collection?” “Mad Men Mad Men Mad Men blah blah blah”

The love has been sudden and swift, and all thanks to Netflix streaming. Last night Mad Men won the Emmy for best drama series. Not only does it bring some validity to my love of this  show, but it also gives me an excuse to blog about Don & the gang.

Four reasons YOU should love Mad Men…

courtesy of Village Voice

1. Don Draper

He’s dapper and super attractive, a real man’s man in the 1960′s. As the main character, the life of Don (played by John Hamm) is in a constant upheaval which makes for great television. He is a smooth talker and is able to charm you from the screen (don’t even get me started on his many romantic conquests) Don would my perfect guy, if he wasn’t so conniving, didn’t cheat, and hasn’t lied about basically everything…You love him, adore him, and hate him at the same time.

courtesy of Second City Style

2. The setting

1960′s, New York, Advertising Agency. It’s a whole other world, with endless cigarettes and drinks in hand. The production design and script really brings you to the heart of this time period. Themes addressed, include feminism, sexism, and homophobia. It’s real, gritty, and also glamorized.

courtesy of Swing Fashionista

3. The fashion

They certainly knew how to dress in the early 1960′s. Mad Men has sparked a whole new interest in traditional men’s suits, full skirts, and patterns. It’s hard not to love the glamour, sophistication, and sex appeal of Mad Men fashion. My favorite style from Mad Men is of the character Joan Holloway, who dresses her hour-glass silhouette in office to night attire. The intense office manager of the agency, Joan is always impeccably dressed in curve-hugging pencil skirts, bright, jewel-toned colors, and shift dresses. It’s vintage fashion in it’s element, and I can’t get enough of it.

4. The characters

You can’t have a great television series without memorable characters with a compelling story-lines. Mad Men not only follows Don around, but includes us in the life of his co-workers. Notable characters include Joan, who has multiple sides to her, from tough-talking manager to a woman trying to find her place in the office. You have the the ambitious ad executive Peter Campbell with his annoying, over the top housewife Trudy. The cut-throat, senior partner Roger Sterling, who is manages to get everything he wants (including women) without lifting a finger. My hands down favorite character has to be the wholesome, go-getter Peggy Olson. In a nod to the sexism of the time, Peggy is the secretary who is trying to work her way up in the agency. She is smart, confident, and the character I most relate to in the show. You can’t help but root for Peggy in this 1960′s man’s world.

courtesy of Screen Rant


Convinced to watch Mad Men? If not, let me know…I can talk for days about it.

I am 22 years old…and loved “Shrek the Musical”

Fact: I saw “Shrek the Musical” last night Confession: I absolutely loved it!

I need to defend my childish theatre experience before anyone else makes fun of me (ahem Jenna Cerruti).

The 2 hour 40 minute production was surprisingly hilarious. Although I am anything but a musical theatre buff, I think I have figured out what made “Shrek the Musical” enjoyable for this twenty-something couple…

It does what most children’s movies/theater productions attempt to do, it captured the attention of both adults and children.

Having seen some of bad children’s movies and productions (thanks little sis), “Shrek the Musical” was made for both children and adults with it’s entertaining music, colorful sets, and humorous lines.

courtesy of Oregon Live

I appreciated the nuanced theater references (Lion King, Les Miserables, Wicked) that were showered through-out the musical. The “adult” jokes, which were lost to little ears, had me roaring with laughter.

Standouts include the sassy Donkey, played by the energetic André Jordan and the funny, little guy Lord Farquaad, played by Merritt David Janes. Janes played the implecibly short Lord Farquaad by acting on his knees the entire musical, talk about commitment! The two characters completely stole the show for me.

 

The ensemble, although young and inexperienced, was superbly cast. The fairytale characters were memorable and hilarious during their scenes. The interrogation of Gingy, taken straight from the movie, was a standout scene for me.

Favorite numbers include “Welcome to Duloc,” “Morning Person,” and “Freak Flag”

Yes I am 22 years old. And yes, I loved “Shrek the Musical.” No big deal right?

Ten years later

Courtesy of Times Union Blog

None of us we will ever forget….

Today is 10 years. Ten years since men and women of the NYPD and FDNY responded to the scenes with courage. It was ten years ago to this day that 2,977 innocent people were killed as we watched helplessly. Ten years ago our world changed and our nation grew united.

We all will remember where we were that day…

I was 12 years old when the attacks happened. We had just moved from Georgia to Oregon and our house in West Linn didn’t have cable yet.  I woke up to my mom talking about a plane which crashed into a twin tower. I got ready for volleyball practice, unaware of the devastation that was happening across the country. Arriving at Rosemont Ridge Middle School, I quickly found my team huddled next to the tv. We watched until the school bell rang, we watched through-out all of our classes. I was scared, frightened and confused. 

I will never forget… 

My prayers and blessings go to the victims and family members of September 11. May the memory and courage live on.