Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another round of concert photos

Concert Photos

Not over Over It

No, I am not simply repeating myself. Over It is the name of a band, and one that I really love to listen to quite a lot. Yesterday afternoon, I headed over to In the Venue in Salt Lake City to see Over It for the third time. I had decided I would leave a bit later than my usual 2 p.m. for the show that started at 6:30 p.m., but then I was ready to go at 2 p.m., and I figured I could sit around and wait at the venue just as easily as at home, I suppose. The even funnier thing is that I made such good time that it was almost ridiculous. So much for being there later.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside. It did much to lift my spirits. I am not a winter person. I was born and raised in the Sacramento area. Very hot summers are not at all uncommon in Sacramento, and the winters are mild by comparison to Salt Lake City. I'm not a winter person, and the winters here are often extended. This year winter has not been to bad overall. The last time Over It was in Salt Lake City, they were opening for Bowling for Soup and it was extremely cold. I wouldn't be surprised if that was our coldest day this last winter, so the beautiful weather for this show was quite a contrast!

I was expecting a friend to show up, but I hadn't really connected with her ahead of time, so I had no idea what time she would arrive. So, I waited...and waited. I watched bands during load out. A few of the band members came out to smoke here and there. I had read online that the concert was supposed to start at 6:30, but I decided to see what the time was printed on the ticket said since no one seemed to be showing up. I glanced at the 7 p.m. ticket and noticed that it also said, "Presented by The Truth About Tobacco." I couldn't help but to chuckle at the irony. I decided to call my friend, Lauralee, and I asked her if she liked irony. She thought I said ironing. I'm sure she thought I was crazy at that moment. Who likes ironing? When she finally figured it out, I think she appreciated my obervation. She said she was getting some water and would be there in about 20 mintes.

In the meantime, it was getting just a tad warm out there. I was getting concerned for the chocolate I brought for Seth of Over It. I checked the Hershey bars, and let's just say that they were VERY soft. I saw one of the men with all access passes and asked mentioned to him about having chocolate for Seth of Over It, and I expressed my concerns about it melting. He said, he should be around here somewhere and that he was sure I'd see him. Probably no more than 10 seconds later, Seth came out and sat down; and I was able to pawn off the melted chocolate. Ooops, I mean I was able to give him my well-thought out gift. Actually he appreciated it and found a cool place for it. Then he came back out and we chatted a little. I asked him if he liked irony. Judging by the look on his face, he probably thought I said ironing as well. I pulled out the ticket and showed him. I'm not sure he was quite as amused at the irony quite as was, but he did seem to appreciate it just the same.

At 3:45 or thereabouts (was I watching my watch? I must have been bored) Lauralee arrived. She brought water and some much welcome company. She stood where the invisible entry "line" would be and waited while I went to my car and brought out the sunscreen. I'm sure it saved me from looking like a complete lobster today. We chatted, and chatted some more. She went to her car and I talked to Nick of Over It very briefly. Time passed and still no one else showed up in line. At 5:30 p.m. we were told we could go in early. It was nice and cool inside and before long people did arrive and it was time for the show to start.

The first band wasn't bad, and I think it was a local band. Lauralee knows the name, but I have forgotten, unfortunately. All in all 4 bands played. Everybody Else played next and they were really very good. I especially liked the drummer. He had his drum kit on the floor in front, which reminded me of Mute Math. Then it was time for Over It to set up. I saw the set list taped to a speaker during load out, so I knew they were playing "Gunslinger" which is a favorite of mine. During the stage set up, I noticed that it was the second song. This gal next to me took out a pen and wrote her request at the end of the set list. It was kind of funny. It wasn't one they were prepared to play, although I they do sometimes take requests. They didn't have their acoustic set up available for the show. Lauralee recorded a couple of the songs and Peter was mugging for the camera. IT was pretty funny. He is very interactive with people onstage and a lot of fun. In addition to some great guitars and just great music, they are all very animated during a performance. The only thing I didn't like about their set was that it was just too short. :(

After Over It finished playing, it was time for Self Against City. I almost felt badly because I think quite a few people were there to see Over It. There were some very enthusiastic guys next to me who were obviously very big fans, so it's possible that my perceptions were wrong. At any rate, they played a good set as well. I liked the very first song the best, and it did seem familiar for some reason. I was taking photos, and at one point the lead singer kinda posed with a funny expression for me. I didn't think it had turned out sharp enough, but it actually work out after all.

After Self Against City finished performing, I went to Over It's merch table and purchased a chain with an Over It pic, and a cd. Then I bought the Everybody Else cd at their merch table. Lauralee bought a tee. We started to walk away and spotted Nick, but then he started a conversation with some guys he seemed to know well, and we just kinda waited around. We had a nice conversation with Nick about music, Relient K, movies and other things, Lauralee took our photo and we headed outside where we found Seth, Peter and Ryan. We spent quite a lot of time just chatting until it was time for them to leave. I had lots of fun, laughed lots, had my photo taken and overall had a great time. I can't wait until we get to see them again. It was a much needed break from the doldrums I've been in lately.

Lauralee stood by our cars and chatted even longer before we headed off to our respective homes. It was a great night full of wonderful memories. It was a great gift and a blessing.

As Mac Powell would say,
Peace Out,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Who I Am Instead?

I have been in a deep "funk" for the last 2 or 3 days at least. I can't tell if it's simply that I don't feel well, since I don't, and more physically based, or if there is something more going on. I suspect it's a little of each. Whatever it is, I can't seem to shake it.

Last night I went home from work sick. I was a bit achy, and there was some pressure in my head. It wasn't painful, it was just there, and it was making me feel like I just wanted to just lay on the floor and sleep. I couldn't concentrate, so I finally left. I felt bad about leaving, but I didn't want to try and stay and end up unable to drive home. I went to bed about 15 minutes after getting home, and woke up about 1:30 a.m. which is just about the time I should have arrived home ordinarily. I stayed in bed another 45 minutes or so and finally got up. I still feel tire, and still depressed. I can't shake it.

Does anyone else feel like they aren't really good at anything? I'm not a particularly gifted data entry person. I'm not really that great a photographer (trust me, I see all the originals, you only see some of the better ones.) I'm not a good housekeeper. I used to be, but I can't seem to get anything back under control anymore. I want to be an encourager, but most of the time I feel more like a nuisance. And my walk with God leaves much to be desired. I want it back, and can't quite get it there as it should be. I can't leave myself behind enough most of the time.

So, this is the real me. I'm tired. Sometimes I envy Rip Van Winkle. A 30 year sleep doesn't sound so bad, except then I'd wake up and I'd still be me.

Hope you all are faring better.

God's blessings,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Thoughts on the First 10 Pages

It was an interesting day today. First of all, I got to work in good time and was even a little early. I always love it when I don't feel so rushed coming in. I went to the table to get a form, got sidetracked, remembered that I didn't have the form yet, and turned around really fast. I clobbered the back of my hand really hard and I think I hit a nerve. I couldn't work my hand right for a sec. I am so very co-ordinated. I went and picked up some work and sat down at my dest and got started. I wasn't typing with a whole lot more co-ordination than when I got the form. It seems like it took me forever, and we are on measured production. But I finally went on to the next batch of work. I got my Quality Review back from last week. There are supposed to be 4, but for some reason there was only one, and it wasn't good. My emotions went into a tail spin. Sometimes I let this stuff get me very down. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm really very good at anything, so my thoughts started travelling in that direction. It can only go downhill from there. I took break just a little early and started reading the book, "The Secret Message of Jesus" by Brian D. McLaren. I managed to get to about page 10. When lunch break came around, I spent a few minutes writing down my thoughts, and I will share them here:

First thoughts:
I have to admit to being just a litle uncomfortable with the idea that there is a "secret" message of Jesus. I came from a cult and one trait not uncommon to many cults is that there is secret, hidden information, some special revelation or that God's word is somehow not plain. In reality, I think that we are the ones that make things so mysterious by our own unwillingness to listen. It's not that I don't think that there are any mysteries of God, in fact, I believe that there are and Scripture mentions them. But am I wrong in my impression that Jesus revealed them rather than further muddied the waters? Not that we can, as finite human beings, completely grasp the infinite God of the universe, nor will we be able to really get Christ without at least accepting Him as real. How can one begin to understand God if he is only seen as a myth? I guess that would be starting with a faulty premise. And if God is only a myth, what would be the point anyway?

Still, when McClaren says, "A lot of people say, 'It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you're sincere.' They're partly right: sincerity is a precious thing, and arguments about who has the correct beliefs have too often led to arrogance, ugly arguments, and even violence. But believing untrue things, however sincerely, can have its own unintended consequences", he really hit on something that I think needs to be said. What you believe matters not only in eternity, but in the here and now. It's somewhat providential I seem to be reading this now after struggling to express that very same thought to someone without being or seeming like I knew it all or was putting them down in anyway. McClaren has a wonderful way with words and with painting word pictures from the little I've read.

So far, I am not sure where this will all take me, but even if I find fault from here on out, at least it will be a challenge to dig deeper and maybe make some changes. And that can't be a bad thing. And for me, I think it's needed.

God's blessings,

Sunday, April 22, 2007

RK, Mae, Sherwood photo blog

Photos from the 20th in Salt Lake City. More are up here:

Relient K, Mae, Sherwood

I had been looking forward to Friday, April 20 since the end of October. Of course, I didn't know the actual date until mid December, but I was very excited that two of my favorite bands were touring together, Mae & Relient K. When the tour dates were finally announced, I was elated to find that they were indeed stopping in Salt Lake City. I'd been looking forward to it ever since.

So, yesterday, I went to bed too late as usual and Daisy Mae (the dog) and alarm clock had me awake and out of bed by 12:30 p.m. I showered quickly, got my things together for the show, and headed off to my daughter's salon. She was going to go, but had an appointment first, so I dropped her ticket off; and she dried and flat-ironed my hair. It turned out pretty good, I think. :)

I finally left the salon around 2 p.m. and headed for Salt Lake City. I arrived at 2:35 p.m. I was trying to get there before 2:30, but that plan was "derailed" by a long, slow moving train; but I did finally arrive, parked, got my things together again and saw Lauralee pull up beside my car. We headed across the street and into the line. There were two other very excited gals in front of us. So, we waited, and I chatted, and waited and chatted. Then I saw Rob and Jacob and said "hello". I told Rob I had something for him, and he accepted it gratefully and took it back inside the venue before heading off to Starbucks. Then on the return trip we talked again and they posed with people for photographs. I was going to, but the batteries in my camera were dead. I knew they were about gone (the non-rechargeable type) and had recharged ones somewhere, but I didn't want to delay them so I asked if they'd be around after. I think they were around between band sets, but we never connected. But I think they'll be back, so next time. It was good to see them again. I saw Zach a few times as well, but we never really got to talk at all. I said a quick hello to Benji. They kept him pretty busy, I think. :)

Over the course of the afternoon I was able to chat with Hoopes and Jon Schneck briefly. Jon was off to the bookstore. On the way back, I gave him a tee I had for him (a Batman tee). I hope it's not too huge, but when I went to order there were no smalls. I'm o.k. with baggy tees, but not sure they are too much the "in" thing anymore. LOL

After what seemed an eternity, the doors finally opened, I got my photo pass and headed towards the stage. I was looking for someone to find the rules for the camera, but never saw the person I was looking for. I just figured if I couldn't take pics for Sherwood, I'd hear about it. I knew Mae didn't mind, but I hadn't asked them for an actual pass and they have to submit it ahead of time. Next time I'll know. LOL At any rate, I was in front, just to the right of center. It wasn't too bad during Sherwood's set. Sherwood was on the stage at 6:15, and their set seemed all too short. I really enjoyed them quite a bit. I had pre-ordered their new cd, and while I don't know all the words yet, I did recognize some of the music.

After Sherwood, the stage was rearranged and set up for the next band, Mae. Now I am a big fan of Mae, so I was very excited. Apparently so were a lot of other people because the venue became one giant sardine can. It was difficult to even move, except for the bit of jostling that was going on. I was able to get some pics, but most were not real sharp. Afterwards the security guard was getting me the set list and another guy got Dave's attention and since Dave didn't know what the guard was doing just finished taking it off and handed it to the guy. But I did get a photo of it, so I have a copy. LOL Us old people need the reminders, you know. Then it was time for the stage to be set for Relient K.

I tried to get out of the crowd behind the barricade for photos, and the security guard had to pull me out. It took two of them and my knees got stuck on the barricade a couple of times. We are talking seriously packed folks here. LOL

I went to Jon's side of the stage and checked out the lighting. I was having a bit of a difficult time getting co-ordinated and staying out of the way of security. I went to Matty/John Warne's side of the stage once, and felt too much in the way. I thought maybe there was a three song limit because of Tuesday, but wasn't sure. There was another gal there taking pics as well, and I still saw her there on the 4th song, so I stayed. But then I didn't see her a little bit afterward, so I headed back to the far side of the stage. There were other people there, so I thought that was probably about as far as I was going to get unless someone helped me out. No one said anything. At one point a security guy came from behind and thought he wanted me to move back, but then he was just trying to get around me. So, I stayed put. Anyway, I still took a few more photos from there. And I also clapped a bit, sang along to the music and had a great time. Forgiven was definitely amazing to hear live. I also loved RK's rendition of Sloop John B. I actually heard it and Devestation and Reform twice since I could hear them at sound check. In fact, I think that was probably the best show of Relient K's that I'd been to! They actually played a pretty good set, but it was over in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

After the show, I headed for the merch tables and bought a Sherwood tee and had my photo taken with Sherwood. My daughter came to her show with her date, and met me at the merch tables. Her date said that Relient K was good (smart man.) Then they left and we waited so that I could buy a couple of Mae stickers, and I could get Lauralee a tee in exchange for a ticket I bought from her. We finally made it outside, and there was a group of people waiting by the buses. After quite a long while, the security guard went back and told RK about the fans outside, and Dave, Hoopes and eventually Warne came out and talked to everyone. Sherwood hung and talked to people quite a while as well.

All in all it was a really fun night, and I can't wait until next time.

Peace out,