Monday, December 31, 2007

Snow fun

I decided that I wanted to make a snowman since there was quite a bit of snow in my front yard, and I hadn't tried my hand at snowman making in a very long time. The snow was very powdery and didn't stick together too well. I did, however, manage to get a snowman constructed.

My pathetic snowman:

So then I decided to pay attention to the dogs. I have a pic here somewhere of Daisy peering over the gate. I'll have to put it up later. In the meantime, enjoy. LOL

Rocky the snow dog in Run Rocky Run:

Then at 6 o'clock, I went to the church as one of the ladies there prepared tamales and Pasole (mexican soup with hominy & pork). It was seriously very, very good stuff. She served the soup to make sure everyone got some meat in their soup and she gave me this huge bowl. I was stuffed. I'm going to have to find out how to make it for sure. I loved it!! I did take my camera, but just my high zoom point and shoot, and I am seriously mad at myself for not taking a pic of the soup. LOL C'est la vie. It was a good day. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good His love endures forever!

Hope you all have a Happy & Blessed New Year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friendship, love and other mushy things

Reposted from my myspace blog:

My middle child sent me some scrapbooking items as part of my Christmas gift. Included among the scrapbooking goodies was a set of stickers on friendship. The very first citation stopped me and made me think. "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back when you have forgotten the words."

Maybe that is why music is so important to me. It's why some of the artists can seem like friends, even when you know in your heart you aren't their best friend or anything. Some I've met, and I've been even more impressed. Whether they know it or not, they sing often sing my heart back to me when I am forgetful.

I've had a few friends like that from time to time. At least one I can think of I really miss and I've totally lost track of her. I know we have probably gone different directions, but I spent many hours talking to her on the phone. She would read me things she'd written. When I wrote letters to the editor, I usually ran them by her first. We were kindred spirits. I do think of her often.

Anyway, I love people. Maybe they don't always deserve it. I'm sure I don't. But I hope that at some point again I can be the person that can sing back forgotten words to others.

I also hope and pray that I can allow God to be the one to sing those words to me again, because sometimes, I'm rather forgetful.

Oh, here's one more quote that I loved from the pack:

"A good friend will sharpen your character, draw your soul into the light, and challenge your heart tlo love in a greater way." Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

May you find love wherever you are.

God's blessings,


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Card

"Oh remember that Christmas
It makes way for spring"
(Boxing Day, Relient K)

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to all.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday morning I went out at between 9 and 10 or so and took pics. Brrrr. was it cold. I wanted to get some winter photos in honor of Jon Foreman's ep coming out in January. :) These are mainly from my yard of the yard and a few spots in the neighborhood. I'm reasonably happy with them, which is rare. LOL I still want to go out tomorrow sometime and try to get some of snow covered mountains.

Hope you enjoy:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crazy like that - a saga of three silly "old ladies"

I haven't yet posted about the Jingle Ball in Stockton, California on December 1.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my mom bought tickets for the Jingle Ball on December 1. Since it was a rather spur of the moment purchase, the seats were pretty far in back of the arena, but they were pretty much center, so it wasn't too bad considering we bought the tickets pretty close to the show date. On the bill were Sean Kingston, Natasha Beddingfield, One Republic and Avril Lavigne... yea, she's one of those artists that it seems hardly anyone admits to liking but somehow manages to fill arenas anyway. LOL My mom's favorite song is Apologize by One Republic, so that is the main reason we went.

While I was off on my Relient K/Switchfoot adventure, my mom was listening to the radio. Apparently the local station was going to bump someone in line up to the front row for making and wearing Jingle Ball 95.7 garb. They said something about lights being good. It was rather last minute, and we didn't have time to hunt for lights, but we did dress up in 95.7 attire. We had white sweat shirts with the appropriate words, and visors that also sported the Jingle Ball 95.1 words. I had the idea to use bells, so my mom and I painted, and sewed jingle bells on our sweat shirts as quickly as we could. My sister finally arrived with our dinner and we ate, changed into our Jingle Ball "costumes" and headed for the arena. I had a feeling the lights would be our downfall. First off we see a few gals dressed up and with lights. Then standing behind us just a few people back were two guys who were really decked out with glitter and lights. We saw them on the floor near the front, so I'm guessing they ended up with the front row seats. It was pretty impressive I must admit. But we should get some sort of award or plaque for being the oldest foolish people there (42, 52 and 71.) We were a silly looking trio of
oldies but goodies. LOL The wait in line seemed kinda long because it was cold, and a little damp out, but hey, we survived it. I'm kinda used to it by now.

The show was actually pretty good. Sean Kingston's set was really short (only three songs) and we found out later that he was sick and wasn't even supposed to perform. It's not really my favorite style of music, but the first one had more of a Jamaican flavor to the song, and I kinda liked it. Because the first set was short, the set up time was extraordinarily long and there was a big time gap between Sean's set and Natasha Beddingfield's performance. I have to say she was worth the wait. Her set was more of an acoustic style, but she has an absoltuely beautiful voice and she was quite engaging. At one point Ryan came out and did a song with her. They seemed to have a good rapport. I would definitely see her again sometime.

Then it was time for my mom's favorite to hit the stage - One Republic. I really enjoyed One Republic's set quite a lot. I think my favorite of the night was probably the song Stop and Stare. They did sing Apologize which made my mom quite happy.

Then it was Avril's turn. Let me say she really is good. I enjoyed her set. I don't think some of the language is necessary in her lyrics, but she has a nice voice, knows how to work the stage and sounded great! I loved all the pink. :) I recognized some of the songs, but I don't really know all the Avril Lavigne lyrics. I tried to write out the set list on the back of a receipt with a pencil in the dark not knowing half the song titles, and I have it somewhere in my pile of papers here. Someday it will turn up again.

We left as quickly as we could after the show because my sister and mom wanted to hit the merch table. I bought One Republic's cd and a tee, and a cd for my mom for Christmas. She bought a tee, so now we can match. :) I can't be at our family Christmas party, so maybe I'll wear my tee in her honor on Saturday. LOL I least I didn't lose that one.

When we got back we tried to get pics of us in our garb. It was rather difficult since there was no one but the three of us there, but we did manage to get a few snaps. We convinced my niece to take one (reluctantly) between her social events. LOL Have a good laugh at our expense:

And... have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. :)

God's blessings,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Around and around and around...

There was a saying that I think was attached to a children's game of some sort, or maybe it's just what my dad used to say as we were spun in circles...

Around and around and around she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows. Come to think of it, it is probably referring to the roulette wheel. LOL But we used to say it for other reasons.

It describes my trip back to my mom's place from the Ruth/RK/Switchfoot show in Davis. I found the freeway entrance with no trouble. I think I even started out going in the right direction. Then I saw a 50/99 exit and recognized it as the one I took to get to Davis in the first place. I didn't take it. Maybe I should have. I ended up eventually heading back to Sacramento, turning around, not finding 99 S like I had hoped, turning around again... etc., etc., etc. It was kind of like the cat chasing his tail. You keep going in circles and are never any closer to the goal. I seriously contemplated driving all the way to Sacramento because I could find 99 from there. Then I didn't and turned around again; or tried to. By that time it was quite late and with only about 4 hours of sleep, I was getting a bit lethargic. I finally pulled of of I-5 in hopes of turning back around and heading South. My reasoning was that I-5 went to Stockton, so if I got that far I could figure out how to get back to Modesto from there. It was a good plan. I pulled off and decided I'd take a short nap in hopes of staying awake for the rest of the drive.
There were apartments all along the road I exited onto, with street parking. I didn't think it likely anyone would notice I was sleeping so I pulled over, put down my seat and took a short nap. Then I headed back to the freeway. There was only one problem - there was no Southbound entrance. SO I was going North again until I finally pulled off on West El Camino and was able to go South on I-5. At that point I broke down and called my mom and apologized profusely for waking her up. I decided to go S. on I-5 and she gave me directions from there. Oh, I napped at El Camino as well. I really was getting tired.

To keep this story from getting any longer, I finally made it back to my mom's place. I pulled into the driveway at 5 a.m. I was definitely ready for some sleep.
I don't think I've ever been so glad to reach my destination! LOL

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Davis, the Show Goes on

Once I got inside the venue and to "my spot" I was standing slightly left of center in front of one of the large trunks that Jon Foreman would use to get to the barricade. The trunks worked great for the show as both Jon Foreman and Thiessen used them as an extended stage and the crowd would go crazy trying to touch them when they did. I was next to Chelsea on my left and a family on my right. The kids ended up being a bit "tricky" because the security didn't want them next to the barricade because they were too short. They said it was dangerous if there was a crowd surge. We all made small talk until the show started. This crowd was ready. I was a little concerned about the kids and hoped everyone would behave themselves. Anyway, they all promised to help me keep my spot when I got back from the barricade for Relient K. Ruth, of course, played first and played an outstanding set once again. Then it was time for Relient K and I made my way to the side of the stage to the barricade entrance. Just like I did in San Jose, I warned people I would be coming back through after three songs. Relient K came on stage to thunderous applause and I started "snapping" away. LOL It's a bit tricky trying to stay out of security's way and still get photos. It doesn't help that I'm not particularly co-ordinated. Jon Schneck was wearing the tee I gave him in San Jose, and he smiled at me and motioned towards tee. I smiled and acknowledged him as best I could from where I was. Hey, the tee fit! (old joke.. hahaha - well at least two people might get it.) After the third song I tried to make my way back through the crowd. I was hoping not to be too distruptive. It was going well, and then this really tall guy just wouldn't budge for me to go back through. I finally went around behind him and some gals in front remembered my comment earlier and let me go through. When I got back the kids were sort of in my place, so I tried to get in without being too pushy or rude. Anyway, I went to say something to Chelsea and I think I bumped one of the boys a little when I turned (not hard) and mom got a little irritated with me. Then there was a really big push of the crowd, and security got kinda irritated with me and picked my arm up and put it in front of one of the boys. It kinda scared me, and I rather felt like I was on the outs with everyone at that point. When it was time for Sadie Hawkins dance and Thiessen called for people to go onstage, I did raise my hand, but then I was kinda glad I wasn't picked because I thought it might be nice to try to get some good photos. The guy they picked to play the tambourine was totally crazy on stage. He jumped around all over, went to the back in front of Daves drums and fell to the ground like he was break dancing. It was crazy. I don't think Thiessen quite knew what to do with him, but I am pretty sure he got a kick out of it. Anyway, here are the photos:

Santa repelled down a wire from top and surpised everyone. I think it was during Sleigh Ride? But the order of things is rather jumbled. Santa's lost a little weight, though. Here's a pic. I wasn't expecting this at all, so it was way overexposed and not too sharp, but I think you can get the idea now after editing. LOL

Too soon Relient K's set was over and it was time for Switchfoot to set up.

The older girl in the family next to me wanted to trade places with me, but then I wouldn't have had any photos, so I offered to alternate with her a few times. The two times I tried to get her to, she ended up declining, which kinda made me feel bad. I hate the struggle that sorta thing causes me. Maybe if I had a stool she could stand in front of me and I'd be able to still see. LOL Perhaps it was my penance that the security guy would block a lot of my pics in Davis, especially at the end of Switchfoot's set. ;) I couldn't get too upset, though as the guy was really getting into the show which I rather enjoyed. Switchfoot put on an amazing show just as they did in San Jose. Jon looked extremely happy and relaxed. At one point I again ended up holding his ankle to keep him steady on the barricade, but unlike San Jose, he really seemed to need the support. Man, if he had fallen I would have felt responsible. Yikes! LOL When it was time for Rebuild, things went a little crazy.

A good portion of all the bands and crew seemed to be on stage for Rebuild in Davis. Ethan Luck was on stage (tonight only as Jon F. introduced him) and another Santa came on stage. At one point, before there were quite so many people onstage, Jon noticed the hard hats two of the gals in the audience were wearing and took one to put on. He was pretty stoked about them. Then when he introduced Thiessen, he took the other hat for Matty to wear. Matt said that he felt "safe" now in case santa showed up and dropped a PS3 on his head or something. LOL All during the song the hard hats got passed around. It was simply incredible!

The rest of Switchfoot's set was breathtaking as well. Just as in San Jose, all of the artists were just astounding!! It was hard to imagine them topping San Jose, but Rebuild put them over the top. :) Awakening was awesome as well, and again, I just had to jump for it. It was kinda hard with the camera around my neck though.

Then before I knew it, the last show had come to a close. I don't think anyone really wanted it to end, except perhaps the workers who I'm sure wanted to go home eventually. LOL I went upstairs to get the program with the bootleg download code and I decided to buy a Relient K tee as well. Then when I was getting ready to leave I looked down to see if I could see the lens cap I lost. I thought I heard it drop, and sure enough, I was missing a lens cap. It was found and the gal who found it tried a few times to toss it up to me and was finally successful. I went downstairs and wanted to see if Jon was doing an acoustic set. I told several people that Chelsea said the cafe was open until midnight. LOL I ended up in the area where people were waiting for the meet/greet with Switchfoot. I wished I could go. Some paramedics came through. I don't know what was going on, but thought it would be nice to pray. I asked a couple of gals if they prayed and it turns out they were Buddahist and didn't. LOL Figures... tons of Christians around and who do I ask? They were nice gals, though. They said they thought some people had prayed already. I decided it would be best for there to be one less person and went out where the crowd waited at the buses. I hoped that if Jon decided to play an acoustic set we'd find out there. So I waited, and waited. Then I saw Ann and her sister and we started talking. Then Scott came out and was talking to here and I was talking to him a bit. Finally I went to where they were by the bus and we chatted. Then Scott went back inside and said he'd be back. It was the last we saw of him. Hahahaha! Ann waited a long time and her sister was just too cold so they finally left. I waited. Finally Jon and Tim were out by the bus again. Eventually Drew came out as well, and I tried to get a photo with him since I didn't see him in San Jose after the show. The camera wouldn't focus. So I noticed that the lens had been bumped to be partially on manual focus, so I tried again. Drew was patient. LOL After the third try, it still was so fuzzy I just deleted it. Really, it was a big blur. LOL I tried a few pics -- all fuzzy. I talked to Jon a bit and wanted to get a pic of him in his hat. He let me take it. It wasn't too sharp either, but I still have it. Finally, I tried a pic of the grass and it worked. Figures - a really sharp flash pic of the grass at night. LOL Drew was gone, and I would have been too embarassed to bother him again anyway. Jon got back on the bus. Some people left, but a few really waited for Chad who they knew was on Relient K's bus. At some point I said "hi" to the merch guy aka the melodica player and complimented him on his part. I talked to Ethan and one of the guys there got very excited since he was a big Demon Hunter fan. I thought about leaving at that point, but there were a few people there waiting to see if RK would come off the bus and I kinda hoped to see Matty & Dave for a photo. So I waited. Finally Matty came off the bus. I had a pic taken with him and a very brief conversation. I thought it would be nice to find someone to walk back to my car with so I asked around and found someone. So I waited for him at that point. Finally Dave came off the bus and went to the back. He came back around and was going to get back on the bus and someone called out to him and he came over. He took one of the posters on the bus for one of the guys to get it autographed by everyone. Then he came back out and we had a pic taken. While we were chatting the guy I waited for to walk back to my car with me left. LOL Oh well. As it turned out, the lot was really well lit, so it wasn't bad. Then I drove off to get some gas across the street. First I couldn't find my debit card. Then I locked the keys in the car (I kept a spare in my wallet, so it wasn't majorly a problem), then I couldn't figure out how to open the gas cap. I had to call my mom and ask her. The guy at the counter was really the crossest person I think I've ever met. It was to the point that it was almost comical. I made three trips to the car and back before I actually was able to get gas. I saw the buses pull out. I picked up my purse and it weighed almost nothing. My new RK tee was gone. :( The trip home was starting out quite well. ;) I finally set out on my journey home.

Stay tuned... the journey home is another novella. LOL

Davis or Bust

The alarm went off way too early, as it usually does. I laid in bed a few minutes longer, afraid to really fall back to sleep. Who knows what time I would have awakened then? If the alarm had a snooze button, I didn't know where it was, so that was out of the question. So, I reluctantly forced myself out of bed. 4 hours is not enough sleep. But I made it. I got up and did a quick shower sans hair washing and got ready to head out to Davis. I had my directions to the venue, my ticket, my camera .. everything was ready to go. While I was getting ready my mom went over to my sister's to get the sim card that was missing so I'd actually have a phone. It's rather a good thing I had a working phone. I didn't intend on getting to Davis quite as early as San Jose, but I did intend to get there just a little earlier than I did. I think I arrived somewhere around 11-11:30. No one was there, just a few people going in and out. There was a cafe/smoothie place next door, and I went in and ordered a Peach Sunset dairy free smoothie. It was out of this world. I think I'd go to Davis again just to have one. LOL Then I waited 1/2 hr. - 45 minutes before someone told me that I was at the wrong door. He told me there were only a couple of people at the other door, so I headed to the right place, only it wasn't really the right place, either. It was the door to the upstairs, and I was on the floor. I finally made it to the right door where I met Chelsea (I'm sure I'm spelling it wrong.) She and a few other teens were in front of me, but I was pretty close to the front just the same. I wasn't too worried about it. I was more worried about getting the photo pass since the will call was around the other side of the building where I had waited in the first place. I wondered what happened to Ann since I didn't see her anywhere. Chelsea told me later that she wasn't going to come so early today. I worried about her a little, which turned out to be kinda silly in the long run. All day long, I alternated with Chelsea and a few others in line, walked around, bought another smoothie (yea, I wasn't too cold until I did that, but it was worth it) and a salad for lunch at the cafe. Chelsea went to her car for a bit to get some food at one point. I went for a walk as they came back and she told me that Thiessen was there. I continued walking over there and saw Matty & Matt, et al. and they were playing Bocce Ball when I got there. I can't recall who they were playing with, but they had to leave probably to help set up, and Matt was going to try and find someone else to play, so I offered. So I ended up playing just a little. I don't even know where they were in the game or the score. I'm not too good at it. At one point Matty threw the jack (little ball) out so far that we couldn't really even see it. I almost got a point on that one. But Thiessen said, "watch me beat you," and he did... but not by much. LOL Hoopes is pretty amazing at Bocce, let me tell you. Anyway, after the game was over (I don't know even who was keeping score or what the score was, but none of the points were mine) they talked about getting the tournament together. Thiessen got on the bus, Hoopes went inside to round up teams. ON the way back towards the bus/venue, Hoopes was bouncing the jack and beaned me with it. He felt really bad, and it smarted just a little, but fortunately I have a very hard head. He was very apologetic, but it kinda made me laugh. I mean how many people can say that Matt Hoopes hit them with a ball? Finally after a long while, Ruth's reps came out to wait for the tournament to start and we chatted a little bit. I had a little something for them so I was able to give it to them then. Jon Foreman and Chad represented Switchfoot, Hoopes & Warne represented Relient K and a couple of guys from the crew were represented as well. I don't really know there names, unfortunately. :( But the one guy got so excited when he made a point it was fun and funny. Both Hoopes & Warne are incredible Bocce players. In the end, RK won with 9 points. I think Switchfoot was second, because Jon made a comment about them always being second, but I actually lost track of the score. LOL Andy video'd the game. The game was over, I chatted with Thiessen a few secs about curling (because the strategy seemed so similar) and I went back to the line. I was gone from the line for so long I wondered if anyone would remember me. They did. LOL I apologized for being gone so long and no one seemed to think much of it. The line was getting pretty long by that time, and it got darker, and a little chillier. It was pretty nice in the sun during the day, but kinda cool in the shade with the breeze that was blowing. I was starting to feel the chill a bit. I finally had to leave the line again and go over to the will call window to see about the photo pass. I had to wait a bit because they didn't have the pass up there. Deja vu. Unlike San Jose, though, the promoter was at the window and he checked on everything and I had the pass in plenty of time. I finally could relax. Before long the doors opened, and it was time to go in. I headed for the front and secured my "spot." It's almost showtime.

end pt. 1 the Davis adventure...

For all of those grammer/spelling buffs, there are errors. I may fix them someday. Then again, maybe I won't. ;)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

On with the show

I had my photo pass, I was first in line, and I was ready. The doors to the venue opened. I had to show my ticket and head for the front. I was a bit concerned that I'd be somewhere besides the front even after all that waiting, but I made my way to the front just the same. I ended up at the front just a little left of center. It was a great spot. I was next to Ann and her sister. We had pretty much waited together most of the day and I really enjoyed her company.

I introduced myself to quite a few people around me, and I mentioned to everyone I could that I had a photo pass for the first 3 songs of RK, that I would be leaving and coming back to my spot. Most everyone agreed to let me back in. It was easier said than done! And although I was a bit apprehensive about it, I was so jazzed to be there, and now with the show starting soon, I was ecstatic. I struck up a conversation with the security guard in front of me and asked him if the photo pass meant that I could only be behind the barricade for the first three songs, or that I could only take pics the first three songs. He had no idea, so we made a deal. I would take pics and if anyone had a problem I would stop. I liked that deal. LOL

Finally it was time for the show to start and Ruth took the stage playing five awesome songs. I had listened to Ruth a little before and was looking forward to hearing their set. I didn't think I remembered any of the lyrics, but once the music started I found that I did recall a few. It surprised me. I definitely remember Ruth playing Mr. Turner - great song! It was already going by too quickly.

Then it was time for RK to set up so I headed behind the barricade so that I could take pictures. On the way out of the crowd, I told everyone I was coming back after RK's third song and prayed that would work to get back through to my spot. I was nervous. LOL Behind the barricade were huge crates that were used by Matty and Jon to stand on during the set. It made the photo thing a little easier as there was some distance between me and security. Still, the first three songs went by quickly, and then I had to make my way back through the crowd, which wasn't really the easiest of tasks, but it worked. Most people were pretty good about letting me back through, although it was tight a few times and I made my way back to the other side of the barricade.

The concert was sooooooo good. :) Matty was so very energetic and animated during the concert and it was probably the best of Relient K. The music, vocals, everything were all really good. The set for Sleigh Ride was adorable and the fake snow was a nice touch. At one point Matty came over and reached out to the crowd where I was and I pretty much let the other younger gals reach back, but he kinda stayed until I stuck out my hand. It was kinda cool (cause it made me feel special), even though I don't usually do that sort of thing. LOL I rather felt like I could just stay there all night, and watch them play, but of course, that wouldn't be practical or particularly doable. It's a nice fantasy, though. LOL As happens with all good things (well, all things if the truth be told) the set ended and it was time for Switchfoot to set up. I have to admit after Switchfoot's set at Creation NW last summer, I was pretty excited to see them again.

Switchfoot did not disappoint me at all! Everything from the intro to the encore was spectacular. :) I always love it when Jon sings into his guitar, I wonder how he stays standing as he spins around, and it's fun to see him go out into the crowd. At one point Jon stood on the barricade in front of me, and someone next to me held the front of his foot onto it, and I held the back loosely. He seemed pretty solid, though. I'm not sure he really needed help at that point. I was afraid I'd hold on too long, but I didn't. LOL I absolutely loved Awakening, and I think me and one other gal were the first two to start jumping. You have to jump to Awakening. ;) Of course, I was pretty tired at the end of the song. I had to alternate between my "fake" jumping and bobbing and the real thing. LOL I completely enjoyed their set and screamed and sang like an old fool the whole time.

After the encore, I was able to get a copy of Switchfoot's set list. I love set lists. :)
M2L Intro
Gone (Crazy in Love)
One Tonight
Rebuild ...

Rebuild was incredible! Matty came out wearing a jersey, which I hadn't really seen before. Later I found out it was one that April gave him. I thought it looked rather good on him, actually. Rebuild was probably one of the highlights of the show, as I just love the song and the comaraderie on stage was evident. The harmonies are so nice on that song, too. Ya gotta love great harmony!

O.K. back to the set list:

On Fire

M2L -- the show was over. :( I went to the merch tables and met Ruth and had a photo taken. They seemed like really nice guys. :) I asked them if they got the See's candy I left for them. They said they heard about it, but hadn't seen it yet. Hopefully they did eventually connect with the chocolate. I tried to decide what merch I was going to get. I had already planned on getting Ruth's cd, and also the Switchfoot bootleg package, so that is exactly what I purchased.

Then I headed for the buses. I was hoping Jon was going to perform an acoustic set, but it was not to be. I also wanted pics as I didn't want to bug anyone about that earlier in the day and I didn't have pics with anyone but Ruth at that point. We waited a bit, and then security finally said they were just going to get on the buses and leave. Then security left. Almost no one but security left. LOL Finally Tim came out and greeted everyone. I had a photo taken. I decided not to ask for autographs. Then Jon came out, and Jerome. I didn't see Chad or Drew. And all of the RK guys came out except Dave & Thiessen and I had pics taken. I don't recall the order of who came out when, exactly. I do know that at one point Ruth came out on a dolly and threw buttons to people. It was pretty funny. I pretty much let everyone else get buttons, but this gal next to me asked me if I wanted her duplicates, so I took them. That was nice of her, too. :)

Anyway, then it was time to confront the long drive back to my mom's place. It turned out not to be such an easy task. First of all I had neglected to notice when 680 turned into 280 whether it was 280 N or 280 S. I was going North, so that North made sense. I was wrong. I was supposed to take 280 S. I figured I wasn't supposed to head towards San Fran., so I got off the freeway at Los Altos and got directions back from someone who confirmed that I needed to turn around. I took 280 S. to 680 N. and headed in the right direction headed for 132. When I got to the exit I needed at 132, it didn't say 132, it was 205. I saw "Modesto" to the right and Tracy straight ahead. I figured I was probably supposed to take the "Modesto" exit, but missed it. I decided just to take the first Tracy exit and go back the right direction. My husband has a thing about not taking the first exit into a city because it's usually not the one you want. I should have followed his rule. I ended up on Business 205 for quite a ways before I came across fast food and a Safeway. I had something to eat and then went into Safeway, bought some candy and was able to get directions. The last part of the directions didn't work out exactly, but I found my way back just the same and made it back to my mom's safe and sound about 3:30 a.m. Yup... I had plans to leave for Davis bright and early with hardly any sleep. LOL Never a dull moment. It was nice to finally hit the pillow and catch some zzzz's.

One leg of the big adventure comes to a close.

Next stop... Davis.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The ride continues... going up and down and...

I'm not sure exactly what time I finally made it to sleep on Wednesday evening. I know it was very early compared to my normal schedule. I had my alarm set for 6 a.m. and plans to leave as soon after as I could. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. No sleep the night before and I still couldn't sleep a full 8 hours if I tried. It took me a few minutes to wake up, but I was too excited to sleep any longer anyway. I had loaded nearly everything into the car the night before (I came bearing gifts, as Matty says) and so mostly I just had to get myself ready and head off into the sunrise. :) The drive down was rather uneventful. There was a bit of traffic on the Altamont, but it wasn't as bad as I had expected so no stress there. :) I was shooting to arrive by 9 a.m. Ann had said she would be there at round 8 a.m., so I didn't have to worry and to take my time, but I wanted to be there a little closer to 8 so she wasn't there alone. LOL Neither one of us had any idea what to expect. I had a fairly easy time getting to the venue. I did miss one street, but saw it immediately and just had to turn right around and go right back. I saw the Crown Hotel on the corner just past the venue and figured that there might be a parking garage there. I figured correctly. I pulled into the Crown parking lot and cringed when I saw the daily maximum fee was $20, but it was probably worth it not to have to worry about it all day, so I pulled in. I gathered all of the loot, my purse, my camera, etc. and headed towards the venue. I could see the buses parked directly across the street from the Crown. I started a conversation with one the truck drivers. We talked about Trans-Siberian Orchestra, among other things, and how many trucks they had for lighting. He asked me if I had gifts for Relient K (I had forgotten I was wearing a Relient K tee) and I said, "yes", and for Switchfoot and Ruth. There was a young man standing there with a hoodie pulled up around his head. I recognized him. He said, "That pretty much covers everyone" and then he introduced himself as Jon. "I know," I said, "I was just waiting to see if you were going to say anything." We had met once before, although I doubted seriously that he would remember. LOL Then I told him that I had something for him. His response told me that it was exactly the right thing and that started my day off on a very positive note. After they all left, I went back to the front of the venue (still no one there) and looked for Ann. All morning I went back and forth between where the buses were parked and the front of the venue. At around 10 or so, a small group of people arrived at the venue and set up for the long wait. They watched my belongings and spot in line while I made treks to the back. At around 10:30, maybe a little later, not sure the exact time, Ann finally arrived and we greeted each other. She had been waiting at a larger venue across the street for quite a while before realizing she was in the wrong place. (I was to do the same thing in Davis the next day.) She had her younger sister with her, and she was good enough to stay with our things while we watched and waited for RK. Finally, Jon came off the bus but we couldn't see his face for sure, so Ann just hollered "Jon" anyway, and he turned around, came over and talked to us. I gave him his Christmas gifts and we chatted a bit. I showed him the book for Dave, and gave him some UFO/Hovercrafts for fun. He said he was going out for about 1/2 to get a sketchbook and then would be back. Hoopes came over just before Jon left and we talked to him most of the time Jon was away. I gave him the gifts I had for him and he seemed to like them. :) He loved the hot yellow Spongebob Squarepants golf balls. I told him that they would be harder to lose. LOL Now, the order of things gets rather jumbled, because all the time we went back and forth between the venue and the buses and I was still a bit tired, if the truth be told. I know that at one point Jon came back and we talked a bit. We were told that Thiessen & Warne were still sleeping when we first arrived. We saw Dave walk into the building at one point and one of the guys (I think Hoopes) went to get him for us a bit later so we could give him the scrapbook. Jon left to work on the PRS guitar video. I know when Dave came over I had to be grinning like a Chesire cat, and I know from the video I looked rather silly. I handed him the book and it was obvious that he wasn't expecting it. He seemed to really liked the book and we looked at a lot of the pages and talked about them. Contrary to Brittany's belief, he did NOT look at her page and go "WTF". He said the book was elaborate and seemed to love it. He liked the pages I printed from a few of the concerts I'd been to because it's hard to remember them all. We talked about Kilby Court (that means more if you've been there or live in Salt Lake City, he laughed at the pic I had from 2001 of Hoopes (you could see Dave's arm in one of them) and I gave him the other gifts I had for him. We also talked about Dermike a little... and I know the the answer to the mystery of what happened to Dermike ... I think. ;) Dermike and I have never had the pleasure of meeting, though.

John Warne finally came out and we talked to him for a while. I debated off and on whether or not I would actually give him the tee that was an XL and should have been a medium, but in the end I decided to go back to my car and retrieve it. As it turned out, he loved it anyway. We had a good laugh over it, as well (it says, "Once you go Mac, you'll never go back" or something like that. Then I gave him a winter hat, gloves and hand warmers and a Trans-Siberian Orchestra cd. The cd was a last minute thing since I had seen TSO on Tuesday. It was really cool how that worked out. John knew TSO and loved them, so it was perfect!!

Finally John left and we saw Matty get off the bus looking rather sleepy and head into the building. We waited longer and saw him get back on the bus, but he was on the phone so we didn't bother him at all. I still had his gift, the gift for Ruth and for Ethan and Scott. We finally saw Ethan and I was able to give him his gift. He was really very surprised and asked me why I would get him anything. I said, "why not", that I loved his photography and I was on his blog. LOL I gave him the gift for Ruth and Scott and forgot I still had Thiessen's package in my hand. LOL But we finally headed back to the front of the venue to wait. I did finally find someone to take Thiessen's gift to him later on (and he did get it.)

Mostly we just killed time from about 2:30-3 or so on. The time went both slowly and quickly. Ann went across the street and came back with some snacks, and I did eat a few of her banana chips. They were pretty good, too. LOL

I went and stood by will call at one point and visited with a lot of people. I was waiting to get a photo pass for the evening. Once the window opened, I inquired about the pass. They had a list for Switchfoot, but not Relient K (ok, the roller coaster took a little dip there) and I went back and forth trying to get it straightened out. About 5 minutes before the doors opened, I finally was able to get the pass. Yea!!!

Is it showtime yet?

end part 2

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Riding on a roller coaster

It's always rather funny the things that come to mind once that "keyword" is triggered. As I typed the headline for my blog, the song Roller Coaster started playing in my head. I'll probably be singing it all day now. But the headline in no way refers to the roller coaster of love. Instead it refers to all of the lows and highs that were my weekend.

I'm not even really sure where to begin this saga. Most roller coasters have a beginning point, the place where one embarks on the ride, and things are much less clear cut as to where things really started. So, I guess I'll begin with my trip to the airport on Wednesday.

It was difficult getting ready for this trip for some reason. I'm usually the sort that will pack a week ahead of time. It gives me plenty of time to get remember all of the little things I ordinarily would leave behind and miss if I packed last minute. I really tried to start packing early for my trip to California, and I even packed a few outfits, but I just couldn't figure out what to pack everything in. By the time all was settled as to where I was going to put everything, it was late Monday night. Tuesday night I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Wednesday was the day I was flying out, and while I had most things packed before TSO's show, I still had quite a bit to do before leaving. As it happened, it was about midnight when I returned home. I had to check myspace and the RK forums to see if there were any last minute submissions for Dave's scrapbook, check e-mail, finish packing, pay a bill, wash dishes and do a load of laundry (so I would have underwear), print my boarding pass and ... let's just say I decided just to stay up the entire night.

Normally I leave insanely early to the airport because my biggest fear is missing the flight. I always allow way too much time to get to the airport, and this time I didn't got quite as early, although I should have had plenty of time to get there. I left the house at around 6 a.m. for an 8:40 flight. The drive is normally about 1/2 an hour. At 6:30 a.m., I was still only 5 miles from home. I began to panic. I cannot tell you how many desperate prayers I said along the way. I was totally stressing. My husband said complaining wasn't going to do much good, and I told him I know, but I was really stressed and I had to let it out somehow. I kept telling myself that it was silly to stress so much, and that God has always worked out the timing in the past. It didn't help much. I wanted to get out of the car and just walk (which really wouldn't have helped much either.) We thought maybe there was an accident ahead, but never did figure the reason for the huge slowdown. I finally called Travelocity (who was great by the way) and they set it up so I could take another flight a couple of hours later IF I missed my flight for $50. At least that was doable. Traffic did speed up even though it stayed slow for most of the drive. I almost left my phone when I went through security, but then someone warned me and I didn't. I also ran into a "cart lady" and she took me to Delta so I didn't have to walk and I was plenty early. Then I spent the rest of the time looking for the cell phone that still managed to turn up missing even though I was saved from leaving it in the plastic bin. I checked at the information desk, they checked the carts and never did locate it. Seriously, I can lose anything.

Finally the plane boarded and I was able to find my seat and settle down a bit. The pilot greeted us and explained that we would be leaving the terminal and going to an area to be de-iced. I had been through that process before and thought it was rather cool, and the plane was a bit larger. I was curious to see how it looked from inside a smaller plane. I never found out. I woke up as we were heading for the runway. It took a very long time to get there. Salt Lake City airport is not THAT big. LOL I thought maybe we were just going to drive to Sacramento. LOL But we did finally take off. The cutest little girl sat behind me and I could hear her talking most of the way. Finally the plane landed, and I met my mom there, picked up my checked luggage and headed for her place. Along the way we stopped and had lunch at Lyon's in Stockton. Finally we arrived at my mom's place and I could unpack a little, get ready for the next couple of days and just relax. I got online and checked my e-mail to see if there was any word on a photo pass and there was. I also wanted to see if anyone had sent anything else for Dave's scrapbook, and they hadn't. My mom got online and decided to check out Jingle Ball and seats 14, 15 &16 in Section 107, Row 9, were soon our seats for the Dec. 1 show. I was in for 3 days of concert mania.

End of Part 1

More to follow....