Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trans Siberian Orchestra

If you've never seen Trans Siberian Orchestra, and it's not too late for this year, please get yourself a ticket and go. The lights alone are worth the money!!! However, the music is absolutely unbelieveable, incredible, breath-taking, etc., etc. and I totally mean that. There are two different tours, the west and east coast. I'm on the west coast with Anna Phoebe on the electric violin, Angus, Bart, Al Petrelli and his wife Jane, Tommy Farese, et al. There is a story line to the first half, and just great music in the second. Tonight, one of the originators, Paul O'Neill, came out and played a song. He also was standing very near me for part of the show, came over and signed the book of a little girl sitting in front of me and talked to her a sec (I didn't listen) I thought it was sweet. After giving a great performance they always do autographs for everyone who lines up. Nice people, $1 goes to a local charity (this time the food bank here) and the message is positive.

Bart's portrayal and song of a "bum" is moving and brought tears to me eyes, as did several of the vocal performances. The guitars just give me goose bumps.

If you've ever seen the Christmas lights to music video, most likely it was to Wizards In Winter, which is TransSiberian Orchestra. One of the best presenatations out there today.

O.K. Now I have to catch a plane in a few hours. I'm not sure I'll get any sleep first.

Hope everyone has a blessed week.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Belated Thanksgiving List

What I am most thankful for...

I'm very thankful that God can forgive me, I need that forgiveness too often.
I'm very thankful for my family. I hope they are thankful for their nutty mom.
My husband who puts up with my antics, my lovely daughter who keeps my hair looking manageable, my middle child and her husband, my son who finally flew a helicopter for the first time (and survived - I'm quite grateful for that) My brother and my sisters and our wacky, but close family. My mom who I can't imagine life without. My dad who taught me how to argue. LOL (JK - love ya dad!) and the rest of my zany, but loveable family.
The family that attends my place of worship with me. They have to think I'm nutty as a fruitcake by now, but they seem to love me anyway. LOL And I love them back.
I'm grateful that I have a job, even though sometimes I wish I could just stay home (don't we all?)
I'm grateful for all of the concerts I've been able to see the last couple of years and all of the great people I've met along the journey.
I'm grateful for Relient K, Melee, Mae, This Providence, Mute Math and the other bands and guys that have been tolerant of me and so good to me as well (yea, Jon Schneck, that definitely includes you! LOL) Did I scare you yet?
I'm grateful for music.
I'm grateful that I have a home, even if I need a shovel to find it lately.
I'm grateful for my eyesight and hearing and I have to admit to worrying about losing both.
I'm grateful that I was able to run into someone truly kind at Office Max who gave me a Zune pull tag for my friend because she was parking her car when they handed them out. I wish I could thank him again not only for being so kind, but for reminding me that there ARE thoughtful people out there.
I'm grateful that I have a 30 gig Zune (now if I can just figure out how to work it I've got it made.)
I'm grateful that I am going to see Relient K/Switchfoot in California, that I will get to visit with my mom and hopefully with my son as well.
I'm grateful for so many things.

God, if I complain again, I probably should be slapped. LOL

Hope you all have much to be thankful for.


Today I cried for someone I don't even know...

I am sitting here feeling rather melancholy already. A migraine has started, I think. I spent the last two hours asking myself if this is really a migraine and should I take something for it or wait and see. I hate taking meds. So the debate goes on.

I'm trying to figure out the details of my trip to California, and it's all a jumble in my mind. I have so much to do that inertia has all but set in. I have items that are too large for the suitcase. The dishes should be done (well, maybe a torch to the house would solve the problem - and yes that was intended sarcasm) and a scrapbook to finish up, though it's nearly complete. Everywhere some little detail stops me and I freeze until the minutes tick on by and become hours. I'm excited and nervous, but I can't feel motivated. Inside I want to panic and move, but outwardly, I'm stuck.

I am also very tired. I actually left work early on a Friday night using sick leave. I tried very hard to stay, but I was falling asleep. My rates were falling and I would wonder what I just typed on the page - checking and rechecking and hoping I wasn't doing anything really outlandish. (In case you are wondering, I am a data transcriber.) My stomach hasn't been right for about a week and a half now, but I'm rather afraid to go in again. I just had a gastroscopy a few months back, and I don't really want another. So I wonder what can they really do? I'm sure exhaustion plays a part in my current mood and perhaps even with the other problems as well.

So, in my current state of inertia, I decided to check on a few blogs I frequent. First I read Zach's blog again. I keep reading his last blog trying to sort through it and still remaining speechless afterwards. His blog seems somehow "lost" and today that's pretty much how I feel. I'm sorting through things in a way that I thought one should have mastered by the time they left adolescence. Things that used to seem clear somehow don't anymore. I haven't really lost my faith or beliefs. Those are intact. What I have difficulty sorting through is where those fit in and why I have such a hard time being anything but the fallen human being that I am. And who else, besides God, can I trust anyway? I used to be so trustworthy and dependable, and I feel so much less capable of both trustworthiness and dependability. I used to be relatively out of debt, and now I'm not. So, my plan seems to be to just give up and go with it. Sometimes it seems the harder I try the worse it gets.

None of that matters really, in the long run, except I want to be responsible, I want to be charitable, I want to be liked (sometimes too much) ... I think there are too many "I's" in that sentence. LOL

So, then I went to see if Jon had posted any new blogs without any real expectations.
Instead he had posted two. The first one I read just hit me. Casey of Hawthorne Heights had passed away. I hadn't heard. It was really eerie. I didn't really know him. We hadn't met, but I had seem him play in concert on two occasions. The first was in Las Vegas at the Nintendo Fusion Tour. The second was at the Boise Warped Tour. I didn't know him, but I cried. Sometimes I think it's easier to cry when I don't know someone too well. When I know them too well, I go into survivor mode. I know a LOT about grief and grieving, but I can't seem to apply it to myself. But Casey's death made me cry. I feel sad that we never met, and never will. I feel sad that his family must really be reeling along with all of the guys in Hawthorne Heights. I can't even imagine what they must be feeling and I'm not sure it would be healthy to even try, but my heart goes out the them all.

So, I sit in the middle of this mess that is me at the moment, and cry for someone I didn't really know and hope he is at peace. But in the midst of my current mish mash of emotion, I still really do know that there is God that loves me, although as usual I can't figure out why; and I grieve for those who try to sort through it all without that hope.

Life is not always easy. I don't think anyone, not even God, ever promised that it would be. I am my own worst enemy. I make too many bad choices. But I have hope. Sometimes I just need to be reminded.

I think now would be a good time to make a list of all the things I am thankful for. God really has blessed me. If I am miserable now, it is mostly of my own making.

My hope for all who read is that you will find peace with God, peace with yourself, and be thankful for what you have. It's so easy to be distracted and miss these things altogether.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

I have so much I want to say lately, and then I open up the blog manager, and it all evaporates. I'm not really sure what that means if anything. It may just mean that I need to take a journal to work with me. Tonight I read a few pages of a book at the end of my break and I had some wonderful and most likely deep thoughts. I had an entire "composition" in my head with my thoughts very neatly composed. 5 minutes later, I don't think I recalled any of it. Tomorrow, I think I'll take a journal and write things down - if I have any more deep thoughts, that is. At least that's how it will work in theory. LOL

I know I've been thinking a lot about faith and cynicism lately. I am quite capable of exhibiting both, sometimes in the same day... maybe even in the same hour. I really do believe God exists and I do love God, though sometimes I don't always demonstrate it like I should. I want to feel it deeply and sometimes I just don't. But one of my biggest struggles sometimes is just prayer and faith. I always have faith that God can answer a particular prayer, but I often don't really have faith that he will choose to in a given circumstance. Oh ye of little faith? What I do know is that I should still pray. I was reading in Romans once where it talks about the Holy Spirit interceding and it dawned on me that the Spirit interprets our prayers not only when we do not have the words to say, but also the Spirit interprets our prayers in light of the will of God. So, even when I don't pray exactly with that will, we have an interpreter, and an intercessor before God. I, for one, will try to remember to be grateful for that. I'm quite sure the Spirit has His work cut out for Him in my case.

On the way home tonight I stopped at Rancheritos (aka Betos) as I was seriously hungry and refried beans sounded like the best thing in the world. I ordered my usual shredded beef taco and tostada with beans and rice. Other than that the trip home was rather uneventful. I greeted my dogs at the gate, washed my hands, and sat down at the computer to eat my food before letting the dogs in for the night (or is that morning?) I checked my e-mail, my myspace inbox and read a few of the blogs that I frequent.

I read Lindsay's blog about a mother's love for her daughter in the hospital. It brought a few tears to my eyes. I know that mom will not relax for a while. I know. I'm a mom. I'm acquainted with those feelings. Pray for that mom with her daughter in the hospital. Pray that she and her daughter will be alright, and they will make it through this.

Then, I got to Roy's blog and read how he was ill, and that he arrived home to an empty house. His dogs were not home, apparently, and one of them is missing and hadn't returned. The dog's name is Dakota. He totally loves that dog. I remember him telling me how excited he was that he was going to be seeing his beloved Dakota on the tour. He even posted video. I know he has to be heartbroken. I really cried. Even now it makes me teary-eyed. So, if you pray, this is a second request.

On the probably less important and more positive front, I just want to thank God for the fact that time off work for my trip to California has now been officially approved. I can breathe a sigh of relief in that regard. Phew!!! I am indeed grateful and blessed. I am really nervous and very, very excited about the trip. I'm ready to start packing now. Don't laugh, I just might start. LOL

I also should post something about my last concert experience with New Found Glory, et al. on Saturday. I have a few pics that I may put up, although they are with my point and shoot, and probably the worst pics I've taken all year. The camera was having a difficult time focusing in the lighting and I had to resort to flash, which I hate. I'm sure I have a few salvageable prints - maybe. I barely made it to the front by the stage and was to the extreme left It was all good until one gal kind of wiggled her way in next to me who happened to be way taller than I was. She was also the sort that reached way out anytime Jordan was within ten feet. Suffice it to say that I had to delete a lot of photos of her arm. LOL I harbor no real ill will over it, though. It was mostly just frustrating at times and at times almost humorous. ;) I didn't arrive as early to the venue as I would have liked, and then arrived 15 minutes later than I should have due to a train parked on the tracks blocking the road and definitely within easy walking distance from the venue. LOL But I did make it and had a great time talking with all sorts of people. I was able to catch Ian and Steve, and I handed Ian a photo dvd for Chad along with some Hershey's kisses for the band. It was short and hopefully sweet meeting (no pun intended, but it made me chuckle just the same.) All of the bands played well and were energetic onstage, even if some of the songs were a little on the screamy side in some cases. I managed to get the set list for Senses Fail. There only seemed to be one list for New Found Glory, and it was dead center on the stage and I wasn't close. I tried to catch up with whoever got it to get a pic, but they were long gone. I went back to the merch table in hopes of purchasing NFG's new cd, but they were sold out. I even asked the merch guy if the display had a cd in it or not. LOL No luck there. So I went to The Receiving End of Sirens table and checked out their wares. I was laughing at the merch guy as he kept trying to give stuff away to me (stickers, and buttons.) I said he wasn't going to make money if he kept trying to give everything away. He laughed. I ended up asking if the cd was very screamy and was assured that it wasn't, so I bought it. I also left with a few stickers for the scrapbook I will someday get around to finishing. ;) I hung around outside for a little bit and ran into Adam from the opening band and we chatted. I had someone take a photo of us. He seemed kinda quiet and nice (unlike his wild and crazy stage persona.) LOL In the end I asked if NFG ever came out, and he said they usually didn't. SO I headed for home. I didn't get seriously beat up, although dead center might have been another matter, especially when Jordan comes down off the stage and I really did enjoy the concert.

So, hopefully now, I'm caught up. Aren't you glad?

Here's to love, peace and answered prayers.


Friday, November 09, 2007

I promise I won't go postal...

Today I was really a little excited because I received two e-mail notices telling me that my Relient K/Switchfoot/Ruth tickets had been shipped. The notices included delivery confirmation info. So, I looked in the wee hours of the morning and they had been delivered to the local post office in the vicinity of 4 a.m. (approx. 10-15 minutes apart.) So I was expecting them both today in the mail. To my disappointment only one of them arrived. So, tonight when I got off work I checked the confirmation information and it says that BOTH packages were delivered this morning. They weren't.

So, if they do not arrive in the morn., there will be a not so happy postal service customer wanting a few answers. This really irritates me because if the ticket isn't delivered, and the post office says it has been (when it hasn't) I will have little recourse to recoup the loss OR at least that is my perception. It's just wrong to mark something delivered that isn't.

Anyway, so really say a prayer that the ticket arrives today. I don't want to have to purchase it twice and really shouldn't be spending so much as it is. :( I'm sure I can get a comp if things go awry, but I don't want to have to. That was the point of purchasing it in the first place.

But I promise... I will try my best to be nice and as Christlike as I can, although the episode with the moneychangers might be the one I most recall. LOL No... I promise I'll behave. LOL

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How Great is Our God (Chris Tomlin)

Shortly before 5 p.m. I jumped into my car and headed for Abravanel Hall to see Chris Tomlin. I made reasonably good time getting there and was able to find a really convenient parking spot right across the street at the Plaza Hotel. When I got to the doors, I really didn't see anyone there yet, which wasn't terribly surprising as it was probably around 6 p.m. and the show started at 7:30. Not too long after I met a group of people and we all went to the ticket office to see if they had restrooms available. When I got back to the doors someone came to the door to work as a volunteer, and I recognized the person that let her in. Then I was let in before doors opened (no big deal really since it was just a few people I knew there anyway) and I chatted for a bit while they got the merch ready for the evening. I tried to find out about cameras. I brought both my good camera and my point and shoot. I was definitely told no on the pro camera, and then no on cameras at all, but then the gal made a comment about the venue policy being no cameras at all, but if the artist was ok and it was just a camera phone or point and shoot.... so then I was just confused. I thought, "o.k. so how am I to know if the artist decides it's ok?" Anyway, I just decided to see if anyone else took pics and watch what happened. So, a few people took flash pics right at the beginning, but I didn't see anyone do anything, so I took a few pics. I was pretty non-sneaky about it. I took about ten or so pics and was told no more, so I put my camera away. So I have a few very bad pics in my photo album with my point and shoot. But at least it's a memory.

I was in Row 5 on the left side of the stage and for the most part had a really good view. Before Chris came onstage, they played an intro video that was kinda cool. It was interactive and responsive. I like interactive things. LOL About 2 songs into Chris' set a few people came in and stood in front of me so I couldn't see quite as well. Sometimes it's the pits being short! But I could see good overall, so I have no real complaints. The music was full of praise and worship which is, of course, a Chris Tomlin speciality. Chris sang Indescribable just before Louie Giglio spoke, and I was happy to hear it as it is a favorite of mine. I know that there are a number of places in scripture where it says that God is incomprehensible, and that song just captures that thought so perfectly that I love it. Also a couple of songs into the set, I noticed that I knew the keyboardist... not well, of course, but we've met a couple of times before. Now, I love meeting up with people I've met before, so I got a little bit excited especially since I had so much fun when he was here with Jason Morant. Silly, I know. LOL I thought of trying to catch up with him at some point, but then went back to getting into the show. I mention this because one of the highlights for me was in the second part of the concert when one of the songs has a prelude that basically is an old song called, "Oh Happy Day." Matt (keyboardist, of course) played the piano and it really did sound good. Later he was cutting up a little on the keyboards and I got a kick out of it. LOL It made me laugh, too. But that was in part two... so I am getting ahead of myself.

Louie spoke on how big God is and gave a rather graphic description (utilizing a golf ball) of the enorminty of the universe and some of the stars that God "breathed out" and how small we are by comparison. Then he went on to talk about what a great miracle we are and finally how God - the God that created this enormous universe and holds all things together will keep us together. He talked about lamanins and showed a diagram and photo. It was pretty incredible since lamanins rather "hold" us together. Check out the definition:

Laminins are the major non-collagenous component of the basal lamina, such as those on which cells of an epithelium sit.[1] They are a family of glycoproteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue. Laminins are secreted and incorporated into cell-associated extracellular matrices. They are shaped like a cross."

Did you see the shape? Isn't that cool? The heavens declare the glory of God.. but the message is there even in the smallest details. Who knew? :)

Mr. Giglio spoke about what a miracle we are. He talked about conception and dna, but I was thinking about a time when I did a fertility awareness class and the instructor told us flat out that for conception takes place that so many things had to be just right, that it is a miracle that anyone conceives at all. That comment had a profound impact on me. It was a welcome message. Afterwards, Chris sang Amazing Grace, and the whole audience was singing along. It was spectacular.

Then there was a 15 minute intermission after which we were treated to part 2 of Mr. Tomlin's set. Everything from the lighting to the music to interaction was very well done and I am not at all sorry that I went.

One other thing I'll mention is that I kept running into people who knew who I was and I didn't know them. Now I think I know what artists must feel like sometimes. LOL It was fun getting acquainted and reacquainted with them all, so that added to the evening.

Oh.. afterwards I did try to talk to Matt a bit, and noticed that no one had taken the set list so I asked for it and got it. I love collecting set lists. (Hey, some collect stamps or coins - but I collect set lists.) LOL In case you are wondering, the set was as follows:

Grace, Forever, Let God Arises, Made to Worship, Bless Be Your Name, Indescribable, Holy is the Lord (Louie speaks here) Amazing Grace (then 15 min. intermission), Sing Sing Sing, O Happy Day, How Can I Keep, Famous One, Glory in the Highest, How Great is Our God.

Oh, I almost forgot. Some gals went over to the buses as I was leaving, so I watched. When they were talking to someone I went over and met Jesse with Tomlin's band. He was really nice. I mentioned about Matt and he called him... I didn't really expect him to do that. I hope Matt doesn't think I'm a pest now. I think I must have been trying to get myself in trouble tonight. LOL Anyway, if Matt sees this (unlikely), I'm really sorry if I was a pest... just wanted to chat. Hope y'all are blessed in Denver.

Love, Peace and great worship...


Saturday, November 03, 2007

More photos

It's been a busy week - not necessarily productive, but definitely busy. Halloween started out being just a lot of fun. My church has an "alternative night" celebration with games for the kids, a presentation, lots of candy with the requisite sugar highs (and lows), costumes, etc. The kids seemed to really be enjoying themselves. I'm not sure if this is the 3rd or 4th year that I've gone specifically to take photographs. The first year the pastor rigged up a computer so that we could print pics of the kids in costume, put them on cards and send them home with a print from the night to remember. The next year I bought a stand-alone printer and that worked well. Each year I think I've had just a little better set up camera-wise. This year I have my Canon 20D. The only downside is that 8 mp photos take a little longer to print. At any rate, it worked well, and even though my flash didn't work and I had to use the on camera flash most of the pics turned out way better than I could have hoped or imagined. I think it was divine intervention. You may think otherwise. LOL Anyway, I did enjoy it.

Then November rolled around, and I had promised a few people that I would attend the Invisible Children Benefit concert with Allred and Brighten. There was almost a kink in the plan when my husband went to OK City TDY and was supposed to come back at 3:45 p.m. the day of the show. He just arranged for his co-worker to bring him home. I felt badly about not being there, although I usually care more about being greeted by him than the other way around. I thought maybe I'd catch him before I had to leave, but his plane was a tad late and I didn't. At any rate, the show was really quite good. John Allred did an acoustic set and I really liked it a great deal. He really has quite a nice voice. Then Neon Trees played a very energetic and rocking set. Lionelle played after Neon Trees. My friend really likes them quite a lot but they weren't really my cup of tea, so to speak. Then Brighten played and I completely loved their set. I was able to get my camera in, and I think I got at least a few decent shots of each band. I'm still working on them. I talked as many people as I could for a while until it was time to leave (or until they kicked me out.) I was dreading the drive home as I was a bit tired, but it went well. Fortunately I didn't get lostas that was my main concern. LOL I hope they were able to raise a bit for the cause as it is a good cause.

Last night I had plans to go to Kilby Court in SLC to see We Shot the Moon. I had been looking forward to it for a while. The concert was to start at 7 p.m. and I made a conscious decision not to show up quite so early at Kilby. People don't show up until 6:30 generally, so I left about 4:15 p.m. I had all the makings for somemores because Kilby has a fire pit. I thought it would be fun. Originally I had thought it would be fun before the show, but at 5 p.m. no one was there yet - no band, no one at the venue. I was hoping it hadn't been cancelled. I called my husband and he said he'd look it up for me if no one showed up by 5:30. 5:30 came and went, Ed called and he looked up the concert info. No mention of a cancelled show. 6 p.m. rolled around - no one. About 6:08 p.m. (yes, I looked at the time on my cell phone) everyone starts arriving. I was relieved. LOL I went over and met the band and waited for Corrie to arrive. It was good to see her again. :) I'm not exactly sure what time the show actually started, but I don't think it was too late. The first band to play was called The Lauderdale. They were actually pretty good. The only real complaint was that they turned off all of the front lights so you could barely see them onstage. I'm a very visual person, and I wanted to take pics too, so there was no real light which made that nearly impossible. They were video taping and it seemed they were playing to the camera and not quite connecting like they should have with the audience. As a result, I don't think the crowd was quite into it as much as they should have been, which was too bad all around. But they were actually pretty good otherwise. The second band to play was It's Like Love, and I have to admit that I pretty much loved their music and their stage presentation. They really warmed up the crowd and had everyone going. The lead singer was very energetic, and they were a lot of fun. Last, and definitely not least, We Shot the Moon took the stage. There were two keyboards, and Jonathan's keyboard is quite large, so the stage was just a tad crowded, but the set up worked reasonably well from where I was standing. Jonathan also had two mikes which helped with keeping a little contact with the audience. He did that pretty well. Anyway, I completely enjoyed their set. Afterwards I went to the merch table and purchased a cd from It's Like Love and We Shot the Moon, had pics taken, and a got my poster autographed. I finally talked myself into buying that cool "We Shot the Moon" hoodie. It's comfy, too. I talked to Matt with WSTM for a bit about pics. I took pics of Corrie and Paul, and went to make somemores. The band was pretty busy loading out, so I made a few and gave them away. In the end I mostly just gave them all candy bars. I don't think my husband could eat 20 or so of them. I still have 11 left. LOL But it was kinda fun. Next time I'll know what to do a little better, if I try it at all. Finally I had a pic taken with all of WSTM and got my belongings together to head for home. I gave my friend Lauralee a ride to her car (not far, but kinda in a creepy place) and headed for home. I did get some decent photos so now I just have to make room on my hard drive to download them all. I think that will keep me busy for a while.

Monday, I have a ticket to see Chris Tomlin at Abravanel Hall. I'm really looking forward to it. I've seen Chris a few times and he's always been quite good live. Tuesday I start back to work. I'm a little bummed because I wasn't planning to be called back until the end of Jan. It means I will have to miss Circa Survive on the 16th and Dear & the Headlights on the 21st. But I will be seeing Newfound Glory on Saturday. :) And, I could really use the funds at the moment, so I'm sure it is perfect timing as it always is. God is good to me. :)

Tonight, We Shot the Moon, et al., played at Velour in Provo. I REALLY wanted to go, but I have a dear husband that I need to see and who I told that I had no shows today. Provo is a good hour plus from here, and I've been to Salt Lake City twice this week and am going back again on Monday. I just hate practicalities sometimes. LOL If benzene were free, I might have been there. I hope there was a good turnout.
As it is, I watched Spiderman 3 with Ed. I think we both liked the movie. I cried. Can you believe I cried at all three Spiderman movies so far?

My life in a nutshell this week. Hope you all have a great week, whatever it holds for you.

Peace out,