February 08, 2010

Hello, Inspiration: Katie Knipp

I've had lots on my mind to tell you all lately but I started a new job right at the end of January, and holy hell if it is not sucking every last minute bit of brain capacity to just get back into the swing of things.  I'm at the same company but I'm doing a new job, so although the faces are familiar, the work is just throwing me for a loop!  I'd sort of equate it to coming back to college after a super awesome summer vacation.  The study skills are there, you know, but they are just a little...sunkissed.  It's a job I've done before, but I've had about a 2 and a half year hiatus, so to say I'm feeling a little rusty is sort of an understatement.  I'm thinking THIS is the week where I will actually return to the land of the living (er, blogging) instead of just coming home and napping after work and then staring at the television (though that is sort of a delight every once in a while...I mean, are you watching The Bachelor???)

Anyway, with the new job and the new year (yes, I'm hanging on to The Newness of this year until at least March!) I've been thinking a lot about the ridiculous amount of abundance in my life and all that I have to be grateful for.  And it has occurred to me that I have A LOT of inspiring people in my life.  So I thought I might start talking about some of that inspiration around these parts.  That being said, I'm not here to talk you into anything, review anything, sell anything, endorse anything...so that's my disclaimer.  I just know that when I feel inspired it feels like anything is possible -- and why keep that to myself.    

So speaking of inspiration -- these are my friends Jeremy and Katie:

As you can see by their incredibly white smiles, they are very cute and very nice.  As you can also see, thanks to my riveting skills in photography, they so graciously showed up and drank beer at a party I had once.

So...Are you inspired yet?  (Just kidding.)

Anyway, they are very good friends -- like the kind you call in the middle of the night when you get arrested, friends -- and when Garrett and I can tear ourselves away from being lazy, Netflixing homebodies it is usually to spend time in their company (though judging by my Netflix queue, definitely not enough).  Random Fact:  Jeremy actually used to be my boss when I worked at Peet's-- but obvs, he was nothing like Michael Scott on The Office, you know because we still hang out.  Ah, the good old days before cube-ville.  Anyway, as much as I love Jeremy, I'm not going to talk about him too much because what I really want to talk about is Katie -- because do you know what Katie does in her spare time instead of being a Netflixing, computer-loving, homebody like me?  Katie does things like this:

photo courtesy of katieknipp.com
Holy hell, just looking at that crowd gives me the heeby-jeebys...and she like, plays instruments and sings in front of them!  Yep, that's right, Katie is an actual musician with actual talent, and I will tell you what I have never felt so lacking in the talent department than I did the first time I saw her perform.  Oh my stars, this girl skills will make your jaw drop. 

Don't believe me?  Here, go have a listen... I'll wait.  
(I'm going to recommend clicking on "Violent in Here" if you want to be really blown away.)

Now tell me this, friends -- How exactly does one play the piano like that, sing like that?  And while we're at it, how does one play the guitar? sing?  And look like this doing it? 

If you need anything I'll just be here looking sultry while playing my piano...

What if I told you she also played the harmonica?  Could you die?  I mean, I really almost died the first time I saw her do it all.  The coordination alone is a skill I will just never possess.  She is just someone I am very inspired by.  You see Katie has a job just like you and me, but in her free time she is this bundle of musical creativity and there is just something about that that tickles me.  I think it has something to do with the scarring memory of the entire year I spent playing the violin in Elementary School.  I fancied myself a "Born Performer" and just knew I was going to be The Next Big (violin) Thing!  You don't eve know, I wanted to play so bad that I "pretended" to play throughout every music class until I finally had to fess up to my teacher right before the big recital because I still hadn't figured out how to read music.  

God, that was embarrassing.

So creating music was -- well, not for me.  And *SPOILER ALERT*  I was not The Next Big (violin) Thing.  But thankfully I am graced with friends who play music well and play live shows, and who let me blog about how their prowess keeps me putting energy into my own creative pursuits, as tiny as those may be.  We may not all be vocal powerhouses, but we all have a little dream inside us that is waiting to be unleashed.  Katie perseverance and her passion reminds me to keep on doing what I am good at.

So it goes without saying that I am a little bit smitten.  And although I am not trying to sell you a bill of goods, I would be remiss in not telling you that her latest album Midnight Mind has just been released  and for every album purchased she is donating $1 to Haiti Relief.  She is just that cool,  and on the spectrum of indie artists she ranks so far above the skinny jeans wearing greasy haired dudes that you can't help but falling in love with her.  And speaking of love -- if you are local and looking for something to do on Valentine's Day other than canoodling in a restaurant booth, come listen to her live at The Old Sugar Mill Ports and Chocolates Festival on Sunday afternoon.  We are tearing ourselves away from the Netflix to cheer her on, won't you come too?

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