Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day After Christmas No Bargain

Yesterday morning I was awakened by Mollie the dog at 9:30 a.m. I think she needed to go out, so I reluctantly got up and took her outside. My right side was really painful. I slept on it a little, so I figured it was my shoulder injury, and the pain was radiating. It almost felt like my back, stomach and everything was involved. I took Mollie out, went back inside and got my gift for the neighbor across the street who wasn't home on Christmas day. She said she was at the next door neighbor's watching Prince Caspian. Anyway, we chatted a while, and the pain wasn't subsiding at all. I went in and took a flexeril I had left from the car accident in May.

About an hour later, the pain was getting worse, and I threw up, repeatedly.

I'm thinking gallbladder. Personally I think I've had issues for a while, but nothing ever shows up. So, I was afraid they wouldn't figure out what was going on once again.

The doctor's office wasn't open, so Ed took me to the Emergency Room. I was moaning and crying by then and asking for somthing to get me out of pain. Now, I've had three children, 2 of them with no pain meds. I'd rather have a baby any day. It seemed an eternity before they put in an iv, determined it was likely gallbladder and gave me something for the pain. Then I had the lovely privlege of giving a urine sample via catheter (gratefully pain meds came first), and then was wheeled in for an ultrasound. I slept for a while, and I have no idea how long.

The doc finally came back in and told me the verdict - gallstones. I was almost surprised, but not at the same time. I wasn't surprised it was gallbladder, I was surprised that it showed up. He said that the stone had dropped down so the pain should be better, and sent me home with an instruction to avoid fat, and to call a surgeon in 4 days. I have a prescription for vicodin, but I'm afraid it will make me nauseous.

I've read that there can be some negative side effects from having a gallbladder removed, although I know two women who've had it done that were singing it's praises. I'm not sure I would have welcomed the surgery, but after yesterday, they can't yank that thing fast enough!

So, I know I need to eat something, and I'm afraid to. :( It's going to be a long 4 days.

Say a prayer for me. I feel like I've been hit by a Mack Truck today.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

(Photo taken last winter in my front yard.)
I woke up to find that the weather reports were correct in predicting a 90% chance of snow today. It was snowing, and it snowed pretty good, but stopped after a few hours. I was singing, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the one..." and then I hesitated since I was born and raised in Sacramento. I think in Sacramento it would snow and melt before it hit the ground about once every 5 years. I only really remember one white Christmas before moving to Northern Utah in 1999. So I chuckled and went about preparing our turkey dinner.

It's funny how traditions are sometimes. We didn't really follow them at all for
Thanksgiving this year, and ended up with ham and not so many trimmings because of a little miscommunication. LOL But Christmas, was a full blown, turkey with all the trimmings. My daughter came over to share it with us, so I basically cooked all day for an army of 3. :) But the food and company were good.

My daughter and her dad (aka my husband, Ed) were watching the ever popular Christmas movie C.H.U.D. (which I am told stands for "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.) I have a feeling I don't want to watch. LOL So, I took my Christmas gift over to the next door neighbors and they invited me in, and we chatted for a few, and she introduced me to all of the cats. The dogs and I are already acquainted. When I stepped outside my front door, it was raining. Wait, rain? What happened to the snow? Most of the snow was already off the sidewalks and what was left was reduced to slush. Just before I left the neighbors pointed out that it was snowing pretty good. I looked out at their back porch and it was already covered, and there were some pretty good-sized snowflakes fluttering to the ground. I finally excused myself and headed back home, and probably an inch of snow had already blanketed the sidewalks and the roadway.

I came back in the house and and reported my findings to my daughter and spouse and chatted a bit about the meaning of CHUD - and really exciting stuff like that. :) So she decided she'd better head back for home while she still could, so I loaded her up with leftovers before she headed out. She went out and unburied her car, and I cleared her headlights and she slowly drove off into the snowy night. Afterwards I ran across the street to greet my neighbor there, but alas, she didn't appear to be home. I was soaked. LOL

My daughter brought me a nice warm pair of fuzzy slippers and pjs. I think I'll wear them shortly and sip on some hot apple cider. It will be a good, warm ending to my usual, but rather unusual Christmas day.

Hope you all had a very, Merry Christmas! :)

God's blessings, Melanie

P.S. If you have a Xanga account, please check this out. I really enjoyed it and hope you will as well:

You might be able to read it without Xanga, just not certain.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Friday it snowed. It snowed, and it was very cold. At one point in the late afternoon, early evening, my husband reported that it was 24 deg. outside, but it felt like 11. (It was the internet;s conclusion, but this time I think he agreed with their assessment.) I know there are colder places, but suffice it to say that it was icy out. Saturday, I had plans. I hoped for clear roads and clear weather.

Saturday, the plan was to head for Provo to see John Allred's Christmas shows. The first started at 7:30 p.m., and the second was supposed to start 1t 9:30 p.m. The first was an acoustic set, while the second was with a full band. The name of the venue is The Velour. John has asked me to take photos. I was nervous because there is a difference between taking photos and hoping for good ones, and taking some for someone who would probably like a few good shots to come from the set.

Provo is about an hour and 18 mins. from me, if you believe Google Maps. But it was Saturday at around 4:37 p.m. when I left, and it was snowing lightly, and it was cold and icy. The roads were mostly clear, but not completely. People were driving like it was a sunny day, possibly in an attempt to finish up their Christmas preparations. For the most part the trip was rather uneventful, other than two traffic slowdowns, one of them most likely due to a few cars being cleared from the side of the road. But I made it to Provo and to the venue safely, in a little over an hour and a half.

It was cold outside the Velour when I arrived, and one of the guys was unloading their vehicle from the curbside, and I parked behind him trying to make sure there was plenty of room between us. There were a few kids already waiting outside, and I started a conversation with them. I finally caught someone's attention and left my camera inside. Down the street, I could see one of the lighted signs announcing the time and the fact that it was 26 degrees outside, then 25 degrees, then 3 degrees C. I know it gets colder sometimes, but I was plenty cold enough. I took out my cell phone and snapped a pic of the temperature, then went two doors down for some hot apple cider and to use the ladies room. I got a kick out of the bathroom I used because it was a cafe/music place called The Muse, and the bathroom was decorated with old 33-1/3 rpm records. I chuckled when I saw Peter & Gordon. I used to like them. I'm still a fan of vocal harmonies. Not long after I arrived back at the door of the Velour, John let me in to wait.

The Velour is an interesting place. When you enter the room you notice just how eclectic everything is. Someone was moving a small "buddah" to a new location and rearranging things to ready for the show. In some ways the decor reminded me of things you'd find at a 70's garage sale. At the far end was a stage decoraged with white Christmas lights. There was a curtain at the back of the stage. To the side, was one strange piece of artwork, which if I recall correctly, was on a yellow background. There were some strange charicatures on there that I would have difficulty describing without looking at it directly. However, the first character in the picure was shaped like the bottom of a hand, or probably more intended was another part of the anatomy that was less seemly. The place did have a certain charm, however, weird paintings and all.

Just around the corner from the front door, there was a very small "stage-like" area with a chair and mike. A green velour sofa was at the front and a burnt orange chair sat next to it. On the left wall were some "benches" of a sort, that look rather like steps. Behind the sofa were rows of metal folding chairs. On the wall behind the mike was a oval mirror, and on the right side in front, there was a plastic lighted santa. He definitely could have been 70's. There was a light on the left side of the stage, that was just a cirle light with colored lights. That was the stage lighting. I knew I was in trouble. LOL

Once it was about time for things to begin. I sat down in the orange chair on the right side. There was a group of teens already sitting on the couch, and people were filing in. As people entered, there was a sheet of paper where people could write their song requests and tally songs they wanted to here. It was to be an impromptu set list of sorts. The place filled up rather quickly. Once everyone was in, the show started. John was very engaging onstage and the vocals were good as always. Parades was very memorable with everyone singing along. Several times he made comments about people choosing the depressing songs. LOL It was a long set, although I didn't count how many songs, and when John asked what time it was, it was 9:40 p.m. People were lined up in the cold waiting for the 9:30 show. So he played one more song and the transition from show one to show 2 began. Chairs were quickly moved, people filed out, and the doors were opened once again.

I just happened to be standing pretty much dead center and started a conversation with a couple. People filled in around me, and I figured I'd let people know I needed to move about. I didn't think I'd get the best pictures where I was. IT worked. I moved several times, but never could make it to the right side of the stage. I don't like to disturb people too much. I planned to move between songs, but sometimes there wasn't much of a break between them. LOL For the second set there was a backup band and there was a good mix of band, acoustic, and piano driven songs, and John played Parades (a favorite of mine) with a cellist backing him up. At one point he mentioned that a lot of people thought the concert was going to be all Christmas songs at first, and that he was only going to play one and proceeded to sing a very nice rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. He also did a round of "cheesy 80's songs" using a looping machine, ala Jon Foreman style (well, Allred has his own stlye with it, but Jon Foreman is the first person I saw sing into a guitar.) John does it really well, and it's always amazing to listen to.

One thing funny I've noticed here is that occasionally a crowd will want an encore, but I think it just kind of gets lost at the end. I saw that happen at the fair with Natalie Grant. At Natalie's show, it seemed like most people didn't really expect an encore, and so they were tepid in asking for one. In John's case, I think the crowd knows him and rather expects an encore to just happen. There was a call for one more song, with someone in the back shouting 50 more songs, and then it just stopped. It's kind of awkward, but John did come back out and do an encore and everyone pretty much was waiting and expecting it. LOL

After the show, John had promised a song to 3 ladies, and it didn't make it to the set list, so he stayed after, sat on the side of the stage and played it for them. I thought that was pretty cool, and I know they really appreciated it. I talked to John and Shane (bass player, video, sometimes merch guy) for a while before saying my goodbyes and heading for home. I wasn't relishing the drive home. I managed to find the street that leads to the street the freeway was on (I thought the hard part) rather easily, but missed my turn, and had to come back around. I was starving, so I decided to stop at Arby's and get something to eat. I ended up parking in the Carl's Jr. lot to eat my Arby's meal. The funny thing is I would have stopped at Carl's, but it looked closed. It wasn't. So, I finally got back on the road, eventually found the street I'd missed and headed for home. I had to stop once to clean my glasses so I could see, but made it home safely with no major problems. I was tired, and glad to be home, but it was a great night. :)

I worked on pics a bit, and then finally went to bed around 6 a.m. I'm a glutton for punishment. I was up at 9:30 a.m., and I asked Ed to drive me to church as I really hadn't enough sleep for driving. He was gracious enough to give me a ride.
The service was about love, and I'm really glad I didn't sleep in. :)

At any rate, if you haven't checked Allred's music out, you should do so. I have a video clip on one of my blogs around here somewhere. LOL

Merry Christmas and a have a blessed and happy New Year!!


Friday, December 19, 2008

All I want for Christmas is normalcy?

I am sometimes my own worst enemy. I want desperately to get something done. I know the key is starting, but it seems like it is 2 steps forward 3 steps back.

Just thought I'd post again and say that Daisy had her visit with the vet, who thinks it is just a virus, and felt antibiotics would help with one of the issues she was having. I had virtually no sleep, so my daughter picked her up and took her to the vet for me. The vet gave her a shot, and some pills. She weighs 71 pounds (that's after being sick and not eating for 2 days.) She seemed better within hours. Tonight she was jumping on me (well... somethings I would prefer not be back to normal.) She ate a dog biscuit, so her appetite is back. She is sleeping on the floor by the computer.

I didn't sleep much, as Mollie (another dog) was whining most of the night - she hasn't done that in a while. So I was up after a couple hours of sleep, and then finally made it to bed after Daisy got back home. I think it was almost 2 p.m. before I really slept. I woke up at 7 p.m.

I've done almost nothing for Christmas. I think I'm in trouble. LOL

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The only thing worse than a sick kid... not pretty to read about...

is a sick dog. Now I don't mean that in the sense that the child who is sick
is of less concern. Quite the contrary, I would be much more concerned about a
sick child. I guess I am discriminitory that way - I give preference to humans
over their pets. However, when a child is sick it just seems so much easier to
deal with. Babies don't travel far from their beds, and older children can to some
extent find the bathroom, or bedpan most of the time. Not so with dogs. The closest they come is the back door.

So, I've been going to bed around 6 a.m. or later, ocasionally working on photos
and taking catnaps on my keyboard. Today I was all set to hit the sack at 5:15 and congratulating myself. So I was getting ready to crate the dogs for bedtime, and noticed a less than pleasant aroma. It's obvious one of the dogs is quite ill.

I'm concerned about Parvo (and I think the dog I have that had Parvo as a puppy is the sick one) although she isn't fading fast, she isn't getting sick really often, and she doesn't seem excessively thirsty, but it almost seems like it in other ways. Her vaccinations expired about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and I was planning to take her in this week for them. I will feel like dog owner of the year if she this was preventable. Anyway, I think she will be o.k. until morning or at least I hope so.

In the meantime, I cleaned up the mess and I have to wind down now before I can go to sleep. It is 6:25 a.m.

Say a prayer for me and Daisy. I think we both need it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thinking and Over Thinking.. Pt. 2

By the time I arrived home from Graywhale, it was already near or past midnight. I didn't exactly check my watch (or it's equivalent, which in my case would be my cell phone.) I got on the computer for a short bit, did a load of dishes, and threw a load of laundry in to wash, got the dogs ready to sleep, got my clothes ready for the next day, and all the other mundane, small tasks I needed to do before sleeping. Before long it was nearly 4 a.m. and I figured I'd better sleep soon, or I would be sleep driving.

I fell asleep rather easily, but woke up at 9:30 a.m. I tried to go back to sleep for a little bit to no avail. I finally just got up and started my day. I rather took my time getting ready. I figured I was in for a long day. It was nearly 11:30 by the time I left the house, and I had to make a pit stop at the post office to give them a package misdelivered to my P.O. Box the day before. I checked my box and found Mae's Destination Beautiful anniversary edition waiting for me.

Then I headed out for the Salt Air Pavilion. By 12:30 p.m. I was already there. There were a few workers about, and just a few cars in the lot. The gate to the lot was closed, so I parked in a small area outside the gates and waited a bit.

Then I decided to use a restroom up the road a bit and come back. So I took care of business and filled up my gas tank. I arrived back at the venue by 1:30 p.m. I walked down to find out what time the lot would open and was told 4:30 p.m. So I hung around the venue, watched the radio guy lay out and inflate "Smitty, the corporate rat" and watched Smitty deflate, watched him inflate again... then I heard the generator sputter and Smitty took another "nap". Finally, they generator was turned off and the blower was plugged in and Smitty was back on the job. It kept me mildly entertained. Finally about 3:30 or so, a few others arrived and people trickled un until a little closer to door time and the crowd started to build. Finally 6:30 arrived and we were able to go in. I was front and pretty close to center, barely to the right of center. Tuyen was standing next to me, and her cousin, Diane next to her. There was a lot of chit-chat with others, until finally the show started.

The first band to play was a local band called, The Market. They were really pretty good. At the end, the lead singer wadded up a set list and tossed it falling sort of clearing the barricade. No one else seemed too interested in it, but I figured it must be a set list, so I was able to get security to hand it too me. It was, as I had predicted, a set list.

Next to play was the band, The Brobecks. I saw them quite a long time ago at a small place called, Solid Ground Cafe, but they have had personnel changes since then. I really liked them quite a bit. The band was very solid with good vocal harmonies.

Then it was time for Anberlin to play, and the crowd started getting really tight and very, very pushy. Ping came out to set up the stage and Tuyen and I shouted our hellos to him and he did a quick wave and went about his business.

Christian came out and sound checked his guitar, etc. and another guy came out to check out the drums. The gals next to me commented on him being a former drummer for The Almost.

Then it was time for the rest of the band to take the stage and the crowd went pretty crazy. Then this tall, blonde kid pushed his way up between Tuyen and her cousin and I tried to get security to make him back off. I thought he was going to, but then he didn't do anything. As a result he and a couple of other guys pushed in and pinned my arm against a vertical bar on the barricade, and really tweaked me in a few places around my neck and left shoulder (front and back.) It was quite painful. I really couldn't clap the rest of the night. It is still pretty painful, but I can at least move a little and type now. I got kicked more than I can ever remember being kicked as the security guard that was in front of me at the first of the show couldn't seem to lift people over me all the way. It did take away from the show a bit. I couldn't get much in the way of a photo under the circumstances, so only a handful turned out, but at least I was able to take the camera in this time and make the attempt. LOL

Anberlin proceeded to put on an amazing show. At the end of their set there was a very loud call for an unrequited encore. A number of people left the area, including Tuyen who didn't like all the pushing much. I can't say I blame here. I decided to stay for at least part of Hoobastank's set. I did want to hear The Reason Tuyen and I saw Ping and hollered at him again. He had promised me a set list (said he would save his copy and I saw it in his back pocket) and Tuyen a guitar pick. He was true to his word. He handed the set list, and to Tuyen and it fell, and then a guitar pick of Christians, and it fell short also. Others were trying to get it so I said to security he handed them to her and he promised them to her the night before. Then he took Christian's set list off the floor and handed it to me.

Security added more people for Hoobastank's set but overall, things loosened up quite a bit. The lead singer for Hoobastank used quite a lot of vulgarity, but the music was good, if you could overlook some the crass language. They did put on a good show and give it their all. About 4 or 5 songs into the set, the lead singer for Hoobastank decided that he wanted more action, so he said the security guys looked bored and he asked for people to crowd surf. I got kicked in the head a song or two later, and my nose smashed into the barricade. I wear glasses, so it made it really quite painful. I cried a little because it hurt. I was asked if I was o.k. and I said not really, so then I was asked if I wanted to leave, and I really didn't. But then everyone kept asking me, so I just decided to leave. I was afraid to leave because if I were lifted out I know it would be a killer on my previous injury. Sometimes I hate to be right. So I stood to the side for about half a song which wasn't a bad view, but then I went back to look for friends and found them. Then I decided to get some ice and ended up talking to a paramedic. About the time I went to the back again, Hoobastank played the Reason (which was awesome live, btw.) One more song after that, and an encore and the show had ended.

We waited to see Anberlin, thanked Ping, etc. I had my Anberlin set list autographed. Deon decided to add punctuation to the set and had me laughing.
Then I told Stephen I had the Dr. Pepper and he said awesome! (I tried to get it to them before the show because they had flown in, but I guess my message didn't get to them at all, but then security guy said their bus had broken down and they were sharing with Hoobastank, which turned out not to be the case.) I still didn't know what I was going to do with all the Dr. Pepper. LOL Then I struck up a conversation with Conner of The Brobecks. I really enjoyed our conversation quite a lot, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again, hopefully in Feb., work permitting. I did ask him if he liked Dr. Pepper, and he said that he in fact did. I told him about it and said he could have whatever Anberlin couldn't use.

So, we finally left and I had help taking the Dr. Pepper (Nicole and friends) to the bus to see if they wanted it. That's when I found out it was just Hoobastank's bus. So, we had a short 30 sec. conversation with them. I told one of the guitarists that he reminded me of Angus Clark of TSO, and he said awesome. I said he didn't look just like him, but his smile looked like Angus. He said something about was he good looking, and I said yea, he's cute, and he rather liked that. LOL Then we went back in to find Stephen to find he was showering and it would be a while. So we talked to the manager who took the Dr. Pepper upstairs. He said they had to fly out so they couldn't really take it with them, so I said that whatever they couldn't use or didn't want they could give to The Brobecks (he said they were still there.)

Then we all headed to our cars and headed for home. Then I realized that it hurt like mad to look behind me to change lanes. Mostly it is lifting my arms up that hurt the worst, turning my head, or carrying anything with any real weight to it. I took 2 asprin and an hour later it had barely done anything. I almost fell asleep at my desk and felt really nauseous, so I laid down and that really hurt. So I went to hunt for a muscle relaxer I had for my car accident in May. I took a Flexeril, waited for it to kick in and went to bed. It wasn't the world's best sleep, but at least I had some rest. It really did help. I am still pretty sore, and all this typing is not helping, but I'm grateful that the small bump on my nose leveled out and it is not black and blue, and I am at least doing better.

This made me think (and perhaps overthink) about what I am doing there. I wonder if I should go to anymore shows, and I think how sad it is that things are so out of hand at some of them. Then I wonder if my focus is right and my mind started spiraling everywhere at once (the overthinking part) and wondering if God trying to tell me something. Then I think about the friends and people I'd miss if I just quite going and that sends me another direction. Still, some concert photo doors have opened, and I wonder what they mean? Should I ignore that or go with it? Anyway, still trying to figure out how to balance my unbalanced life. Pray for me. I only have one unused concert ticket purchased currently, and it is to see Anberlin with Between the Trees in Pocatello at the end of January. God have mercy on me! LOL

If you've stuck with my saga this long, you are to be commended. :) Thanks! :)

Love, peace and survival,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thinking and Over Thinking... pt. 1

I promised a recap as soon as I was able to physically, so I am hoping to be true to my word. First of all, I am still hurting, but much better after taking a Flexiril, aspirin, etc. so I could sleep. I've been trying to stretch a little very gently so I don't get really stiff, but it's not too bad now as long as I don't raise my arms too high, too much. LOL I'm really grateful I am not working. My nose is sore, but the small bump went down, and I it really only is actually painful if I put pressure on it, which I have no plans to do. LOL I really do hate pain, actually!! ;) Face it, I'm a weenie. LOL

At any rate, the latest adventures started on Thursday, when I headed out for Graywhale (used/new records, dvds, games.) I ended up leaving at about 2:30 for
Taylorsville to hear Anberlin play an acoustic set at 7 p.m. I know it was really early, but I find being 45 minutes to the north, I can get there really early, or
risk being late. Anberlin is rather popular here, so I was a little concerned if I arrived late that I would not be able to get in, especially since X96 FM was promoting it on the air. So, I arrived very early somewhere around 3:15. I looked around Graywhale, and purchased a Buddy Holly set for $9.99. (What can I say, Peggy Sue was my favorite song when I was 3, and I loved the B side, Everyday.) When you pay for a product, they hand you the cd on the other side of the register so it won't set off alarms. So I had to leave the store and come back. I decided to clean out my car a little while I waited, and listen to my Zune. My original "ear buds" from Zune quit working, so I was using some old CD headphones. I put them on and they snapped, so I went back into Graywhale to see what they had. They had some cheap ones for $4.99 and some pretty pastel ones for $9.99. I bought the pretty ones, and again ended up out of the store. So, I listened to music (Anberlin, of course) for a bit. At one point I went over to Albertson's and bought Stephen some Throat Coat tea and used their restroom. Then I headed back again to Graywhale. This time I found a cd by Waking Ashland (used) and paid probably too much for it, but I didn't have any of their cd's and I really wanted one. Again it was handed to me in a manner in which I pretty much had to leave the store. I think I just put everything in the car and killed a little time, looked at Rite-Aid and their Christmas Trees, and decided to head back to Graywhale to wait for the show. They had put out a bunch of copies of Anberlin's new cd, so I picked up a copy just to be sure I got one, and waited. I ended up sitting on what was to be the stage platform next to a couple and chatted. Finally, some friends I was waiting for arrived, and we chatted and waited by the stage as they set up. Three of the guys played - Stephen, Joey and Christian. The acoustic set was completely amazing. Stephen's vocals were simply unbelievable. He has an amazing amount of volume, too, and at one point sang a line without the microphone. I'm pretty sure everyone heard it just fine. The most memorable songs to me were Daylight Friend, and The Unwinding Cable Car. I was really hoping that in an acoustic set list, UCC would show up, and it did!!! It was absolutely beautiful.

After the set we waited in line to get autographs. Some friends and I waited to ask the guys if they wanted to go to dinner at Wendy's or something (in the same lot) so we waited for the very end of the line. I was planning to get my cd signed (which I purchased while waiting) and ended up getting a free 12x12 poster signed. I love 12x12's because they are scrapbook page sized. LOL I chatted a bit while going down the line. There was a donation box at the end of the line to help cover treatment costs for a 10 year old girl with cancer. The caption on the box made me chuckle. LOL

Finally, the last person went through the line (we were almost the end) and I asked Stephen. He said they would, but they just flew in and were dog tired (I think he said dog bone tired, or something like that) but they would hang out tomorrow night. Nicole (one of the friends) went and told Stephen that she was the one that carved the pumpkin of him, and he got pretty excited about it and thanked her a bunch. We all kept waiting because they said they would do photos at the end.

Finally, after some individual conversations, the guys did pose at the back of the store for photos. Then at the very end, 2 new friends, Diane and Tuyen and I had a pic taken with them. Then I asked Stephen if I could get a copy of the set list for the next night after the show, and he said I should talk to Ping. So we went over to talk to Ping, and Tuyen asked for a guitar pick, and I asked about a set list. He promised he would try to remember to save a copy for me and get her a pick.

Then I stayed and chatted with Diane & Tuyen a while (I did my bad habit thing of talking their ears off) while the Anberlin guys shopped. Then I remembered that I had throat coat tea in my pocket for Stephen and I handed it to him. He thanked me and said he might use it before the show the next day. Just before I told Stephen since there wasn't really many places to eat at Salt Air, is there something they liked to drink that wasn't usually available on tour. He said some of the band likes Dr. Pepper.

Then Dianne & Tuyen talked a little more and I went to Albertson's and picked up some Dr. Pepper, got into my car, headed for the Wendy's, and ate a hamburger before hitting the road for home.

I wondered how I would sleep.

.... end part 1 of the Thinking and Over Thinking

Cheese and Whine

Tonight I went to see the X96 Nightmare before Christmas show. It kinda was like a Nightmare and Christmas. The show was the Christmas. All the bands were great. Unfortunately, I about got killed during Anberlin's set and about got my nose broken during Hoobastank's set.

Fortunately, Anberlin's acoustic set the night before was much calmer (and pretty amazing.) I will do a complete blog on things as soon as everything I do doesn't hurt anymore.

And yes, I AM whining.

Peace out and Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Late NIght Finds

The plan for the day was to head for Wal Mart to pick up a copy of The Dark Night today, and Horton Hears a Who. By the time I got around to heading out the door, it was almost 1:30 a.m. Needless to say, it wasn't crowded. A while back I posted a blog about a life-sized lego version of Indiana Jones. Tonight I ran across this Lego character. I think these are pretty amazing. I would not have the patience (nor the talent) for this sort of thing.

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Oh, and I also noticed that the Prince Caspian video was available, and I've really wanted to see it. So now I have no money left for Christmas presents. ;)

Love, peace, and legos,


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Do Yourself a Huge Favor

This a video from the concert Thursday night. Please do yourself a favor and take the time to check it out. The sound quality is incredible, and the song is gorgeous.

Allred Winter Tour "Tomb" (Midvale)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Amazing Day, Amazing Night

I have been looking forward to seeing Jonathan Jones for a while now, and the fact that they furloughed me on Tuesday made it all that much easier to plan to see him on December 4. The last three times Jonathan was here, he managed to come when I was going to be out of town. Jonathan came when I was going to Creation Northwest in Washington, when I had hotel reservations and ticket for Warped Tour in ID (and he was 10 minutes from my place) and when I was going to be in Phoenix in September.
It was as if he was checking my calendar and scheduling all of the dates I would be gone. So, it was with much anticipatiion that I headed out yesterday to see Jonathan Jones, John Allred and Spiral Diary.

I arrived early, as usual. I knew I could easily arrive later at that particular venue, but if I leave later in the day, I run into traffic, and I really didn't want to end up trying to find the place after dark at all! so, I managed to get to the venue a little after 3 p.m. The show was at 7. So, I hung around in my car to keep warm, took a few photos of the marquee, walked to a gas station a LONG way down the road and got something to drink and did the ladies room thing (man was that a yucky bathroom) and walked back. Then I had a good laugh at myself as I'd forgotten that there was a Maverick on the corner the opposite direction and pretty much in plain view. Yes, I am a dork!

Then I just went back to my car, ocasionally getting out to see if there was anything going on. A little after 4 o'clock, John Allred and company showed up at the venue and I said my hellos. I went back to my car for 10 or 15 minutes (it was deceptively cold outside) and checked again just as Shane came out and invited me inside the venue. I think he thought I'd been standing there all along. SO I just watched people around me, for a bit, and tried to stay out of the way. John and I had a long conversation (well long for the circumstances - before a show) and I enjoyed talking to him quite a bit.

Finally the others started arriving. Sam, the promoter, arrived, and Corey came in with Jonathan Jones. At some point, Sam asked me if I would take pics and I of course I said, "sure" and he asked me if I needed an area set aside or anything. I said my hellos to Jonathan and gave him a gift (not sure how thrilled he was with the gift, but I know he appreciated the thought), and I gave Corey some poinsettias. She really loved them. :) Then Corey and I set out on a short trek to find something to eat. I purchased a mexican pastry from a deli next door although it wasn't much of a deli, and Corey bought a donut. They had mexican pastries and donuts, a very small cart with some mexican food items, but not much else. We had hoped for salads and/or sandwiches. We ended up at a Mexican restaurant next door. The menu was primarily in Spanish. I don't know much Spanish, but fortunately I know a lot of food items. We didn't see it at first, but there was English underneath some of the menu items. LOL Anyway, they made the burritos to our specifications (we both had beans, rice, guacamole-not pasty stuff, but big avacado chunks-and they left the cheese off mine) and they were huge! Then we went back to the venue to eat. I can't believe I ate the whole thing! I must have been hungry. I should have taken a photo, though. Anyway, while we were just about finished eating they started moving chairs around to where we were sitting, so we finally had to move out of the way.

After dinner, I waited in the front of the line until I could hand my ticket to someone, and people came in slowly. It was all very casual, and in fact was probably one of the most mellow, laid-back concerts I can recall in a long time.
You could really tell the crowd was into the music, but it was really timid. I see that once in a while and in some ways it's really nice, but it is also a bit awkward at times for the artist, I think.

At any rate, Spiral Diary played first and I really loved his set. I have seen Dave once before opening for John Allred, and liked him then as well. I meant to get his cd after the show (it didn't end up happening as he left before I made it over there.)

Then there was a really long break, and Jonathan Jones came out on stage. I think some, if not most people, were expecting him to be the headliner, so I was kind of puzzled. That being said, Jonathan came out and did a great set, although it seemed far too short!! My friend, Lauralee, got me the setlist which was really amazingly awesome of her and REALLY thoughtful. (I owe you Lauralee.) I had almost forgotten as I had been so into getting photos and the music that I wasn't my usual self about getting a set list as I collect them. The only thing wrong with Jonathan's set was that it was just way too short and it left me wanting more. :)

After Jonathan finished his set the stage was set up for John Allred. (John has been touring with Jonathan.) John is a popular local artist here, and he deserves to be. He has great vocals, great music, and a delightful stage presence. Most of the crowd was definitely familiar with him last night, and it was quite obvious. I really enjoyed John's set quite a lot last night.

At the end of the night, it was rather awkward as people applauded. IT was as if they wanted and expected John to do an encore, but people didn't get into calling for one. A few of us were and finally after an awkward silence, people started to cheer, so he came back out with just an acoustic guitar. He sat down on the edge of the stage and had everyone sit down. Then he took requests for a couple of songs and had people sing along. It really was a very intimate set-up and an joy to be a part of. And this time I remembered the set list. :)

After the show ended, I chatted with Corey and Lauralee for a long time. I almost missed the chance to get Jonathan's cd as he was packing up. But I did get two copies, one for me and one for a friend in Ohio, and I gave him a hug from her, too. :) Then I just hung around John's table and bought his Christmas cd, and Corey took a pic of me with John, and I took a photo of the two of them. It turned out cute.

Finally Corey and I walked out together, and we talked in the lot a little longer in the lot. It was really too cold, though, and she excused herself and we went our separate ways.

I had a really great time with some great people. Thanks all! :)

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas Now...