Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to do a lot and not accomplish much, part 2

I will have to keep this kinda short and sweet if I plan to get any rest. LOL

Sunday was a busy day as well. I got up early after a night of sorting and uploading some photos and headed for church. I got there a few minutes late, but at a good time just before announcements. I found a place to sit and prepared to worship and listen to the pastor speak as I do most Sundays. Our church goes through sections of scripture at a time and we were at the end of Ephesians and talking about Spiritual armor. The pastor was pretty detailed about what the armor of the day included, how it was worn, and it's function which helped to relate it to the scriptures more clearly. I always love it when the historical background, and original word meanings are brought in.

Soon the service was over, and I found out that we were having a fundraising lunch for the American Cancer Society. So, I stayed for lunch, had a good time of fellowship with friends. The food was outstanding! :) I didn't get much in the way of pics since I was not at church the Sunday before, and wasn't aware anything special was going on. I tried a few cell phone pics, but for some reason everything came out really blurry so I need to figure out why now. After the lunch, I stayed a bit longer to help clean-up.

At 5 p.m. my daughter was having a "non-baby shower" baby shower. She didn't want the usual games (and she didn't even have the cake, which kinda surprised me.) It was also guys and gals. There was more good food and barbeque chicken. The watermelon and cantaloupe were the best, too!! They were really good.

Mostly everyone just visited, went outside for a bit, came in to cool off a bit, enjoyed the food, and Bethany opened gifts. I spent a lot of the time taking lots of photos. Some of them even turned out somewhat decent. LOL

Finally I came home and went through photos again, until probably way too late, and then went to bed. Even though it was pretty late, it was earlier than usual. :)

SO, now I need to catch sleep again as I've been up really, really late (or early depending on how one looks at the am hours.) My nights are seriously twisted.

Tomorrow will be a long day, with my lack of sleep... but I will be furloughing at the end of the shift tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a break, and getting the house a bit more child proof before I have a granddaughter to test the limits. LOL

Peace out,

Monday, June 29, 2009

How to do a lot and not accomplish much?

It's been a good weekend, albeit a very long one.

Friday night I was grateful do have finished out another week at work. It just seemed like the longest week ever and I was getting pretty tired. I really am ready to furlough, although I hung on for hopefully a few more weeks worth of pay. I could have volunteered last week, and sometimes wonder why I didn't. I know why, it's just the way I feel. I have no idea how people do this job for an entire year, as it's pretty hard on the hands repetitive-motion-wise. The chairs need a serious overhaul, which isn't helping.

O.K. enough of the gripe session diversion. LOL

I got home Friday and got on facebook. The plan Saturday was to head out to Friendship Park in Ogden to see Josh Gracin in a free concert. I'd known about the free concert for more than a month, but really hadn't checked on anything about it for a while, and I find out that the concert is free, but you have to have a ticket. I figured I would have to just stay home (which is probably what I should do soon.) But I really didn't want to miss it. I'm bad that way. Then I remembered that my Zune had a radio on it so I tuned it to 104.3 "The Cowboy". I don't normally listen to a lot of country, so it was interesting to say the least. Some of the music they played was crossover and I actually liked it. Some of it was pretty corny, and I had a good chuckle over that. I stayed up a long time waiting for a ticket giveaway location thinking it was probably pointless as I would be too tired to drive anywhere to pick it up. So about 7:45ish, they finally say that tickets would be at Ogden Athletic Center at 10 a.m. My husband woke up and I mentioned the whole thing to him. I had said I might just stay home, but I really did want to go, and he said he was going to Sears (out that direction) and he would take me. So, I figured it was kismet, since he doesn't offer too often. (He usually will if I ask, but I didn't want to ask it of him.) So, I slept 30 mins. and we headed over to South Ogden, and I got my ticket. Then I came home and slept for about 3-1/2 hrs. before dragging myself out of bed and heading over to the park.

When I arrived at Friendship Park about 4:45 or so and "parked" the car. I got my things together and got in line. I couldn't believe how packed out some people were - multiple coolers on roller carts, blankets, things to do. I would never want to cart all that around. LOL We were standing under the Macey's tent (local grocery chain) and they were handing out salt water taffy and otter pops. I was good and resisted even though I love salt water taffy. I killed time by chatting some (not the chattiest bunch, much prefer younger people at an indie rock show, lol) and taking pics of various things.

Don't get me wrong, most people were pretty nice, just not chatty. Eventually, they moved us over into one straight line, and waited some more. I also found out that the 400-500 or so chairs were reserved seating, and it was all "VIP". You basically had to be lucky to work for the right employer or know someone. Us lowly general admission folks were way, way back behind two barricades, and dead center was blocked by the sound booth. I settled in at the front of the barricade to the left not too far from a Marine's booth.

Eventually, I was joined by a young man who took it upon himself to help out security when people stopped in front of us in the walk way between the two barricades. It was pretty funny. He would holler at people to move and if they ignored him, he'd jump over the barricade and get security. The security guys were all wearing jersey's and were from the Vipers team. I'm not sure they'd worked concert security before, but they did start clearing the area pretty good after the guy next to me hopped over the barricade a few times.

Finally the show started with a local band called Outrageous. They played old 60-70's style music. They weren't bad, not outstanding, but listenable. Good vocals for the most part, but something missing or maybe too much of something ... not quite sure what.

After Outrageous played, there was a bit of a time for Josh Gracin to set up. My heart sank when I watched them putting down set lists. I wonder if anyone got them or if they were just tossed.. so close, but so far away. Then Josh finally came on stage to raucous applause. I heard someone say there were about 7000 people. There might have been, but I doubt it, even though it was a good-sized crowd. It was a huge field, so I suppose it's possible.

Anyway, Josh came out and proceeded to put on an amazing show, and I did my best to take pics with my 200mm lens. I tried to use the barricade to steady the camera, but unfortunately there was a little boy who pretty much sat and and wiggled it all night, so mostly I couldn't do that. For some reason I have difficulty getting a long shot in focus either auto or manual. Some of the pics are pretty decent shots if you don't enlarge them too much. I really missed not being in the animated crowd at the stage. I like being more interactive, and Josh is very interactive in his live shows. I saw him a few years back at Teaser's in Ogden. Like I said, I'm not the hugest country fan, but I really like Josh, great performer and amazing voice.

Then there were fireworks! Utah is big on fireworks. :) So I took some snapshots of them. Suprisingly, some of them turned out decent.

After the concert, I was starting to leave and security was trying to direct me (kind of directing me with into oblivion since I would have run smack into the autograph table.) I didn't even know. LOL So I went back and got in line, bought a tee and photo and had the photo autographed. I told Josh it was a lot warmer than when he was here at Teaser's (it was freezing!) He laughed and said, "Yea" and then added, "That was a long time ago." I asked him if he ever got a fan scrapbook since I sent two pages in for it, and if he ever got it he doesn't remember. I left and stood to the side and blinded everyone with the stupid flash (strobe is annoying on the Canon 20D) and finally headed out, taking a few pics along the way.

I killed enough time that a lot of the traffic had cleared (which was my plan) and waited in my car a little longer before heading home. Somehow I made it. I was beat, but took a look a the pics before heading for bed.

***end of the longest weekend and blog, part 1 - part 2 tonight, stay tuned.) LOL

Saturday, June 27, 2009

There is no beginning

There is no clear cut beginning to this blog, really. It's been a rather long, and somewhat bizarre week here. Does it seem like it to you, too, or is it just me?

Since most calendars list Sunday as the first day of the week, perhaps I'll start there. Sunday morning I was still pretty tired from Saturday night. I got a little carried away working on photos with my new computer and monitor. I can't believe what a huge difference there is. I can actually see on here now. LOL The plan was to go to Calvary Salt Lake City to help with set up for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (in particular catering.) Shows were scheduled for 3:30 and 7 p.m. Ticket sales were not brisk. Up until the Saturday, I wasn't sure what time I would be there, but the plan at my end was to get up early and fix potato soup. We wouldn't be able to use the kitchen until 2 p.m. If I had to be there earlier, I would have gone to Calvary SLC's service, but the 3:30 show was cancelled, and no one was going to be there until 2 p.m. I found out after I was about halfway through making the soup, and I missed my own church's service to finish it. I just couldn't get up before 9 a.m. But the soup was fixed, and I was to get to Calvary about 3 p.m.
When I arrived, we had donated Subway sandwiches ready, soup, etc. We ended up just fixing dinner and combining everything. I fixed a baked chicken with a really good coating I found online. I was short-handed and nearly didn't get done in time. Then I forgot the first batch of garlic bread and tried to set the kitchen on fire. I really shouldn't do this on 4-1/2 hrs. of sleep anymore. LOL But dinner was served and went over well. The soup was a big hit, also. Everyone was so very appreciative that it was really nice. In fact, after the show I had a program autographed, and the producer (who also played Aslan) signed my program thanking me for the great meal. LOL I hope he wasn't just being polite. ;)

I missed the first part of the play, but I did make it for a good part of the show. I was able to take pics. I really didn't want to interrupt anyone, so I sat on one side of the church a few rows back. I had trouble getting a focus, so got up and went to the other side and stood against a post and took pics, and then sat in an empty seat about the third row or so up, or maybe it was a bit farther back than that. But I took a lot of pics. A few turned out o.k.

Afterwards, I finished up on some clean up (thankfully Paula did some of the dishes so I could see the play), and alternated between clean up, taking pics and getting autographs. I was completely exhausted at the end of the day, but it a lot was fun. The cast was a delight and all very nice and appreciative. :) I really missed "regular" church, though. Then I made the trek home, and again got to bed rather late. Monday came too soon, and I started out the week rather tired.

Other events for the week included a dentist appt. with my daughter at 9:30 a.m. I took a nap, but not a long enough one, so I was again tired.

I left work early with a headache. It's still coming and going. I'm thinking maybe allergies..not sure.

I got new glasses, finally, so I can see. But now they need adjusting.. kinda tight and irritating.

I got a call from a friend at 3:30 a.m. because her sister had died.

Last night, I stayed up until my husband woke up at 8 a.m., and then woke up too soon so not enough sleep.

You know, I can't even sort the days out anymore? What happened on which day? Kinda scary.

Ed McMahon died, Farrah Fawcett died, Michael Jackson died, my friend's sister died,
the first furlough took place at work, someone left work crying yesterday and I heard something about an accident, the person who sits next to me left to go to the nurses office and was at the ER. Last I heard she was going to be o.k.

Oh, we did all get a lovely hour of meeting time to have a "hot dog" appreciation dinner outside at work just before everyone who furloughed left. I can't stand hot dogs, but it was a nice break.

I'm glad this week is over, finally! Time for the clouds to lift. May it be so. :)
Yes, I will think positively!!!

God's blessings, Melanie

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It was Providence....

If you know me well, you might be aware of the fact that I am a huge fan of the band, This Providence. If you are family, you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking I'm just a big fan of bands in general (and there would probably be some truth to that accusation. LOL) But I am, in fact, especially fond of the band This Providence. Not only is their music outstanding, but I think they are great guys.

I was really disappointed when I heard they were going to be in Salt Lake City with Hey Monday! (another awesome band) on June 19. It was prime time at work, and on a Friday. They do not like to grant Fridays and Mondays off where I work most of the time. I figured I wasn't going to be able to go.

If you also know me well, you probably figured out that I'd still have to try, though. So I played "Let's Make a Deal" with my schedule at work. My normal schedule is 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and I asked to work 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., go to the show, and work 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and prayed I could make it that long. In the end, I only ended up losing 1 hour of work which I would use annual leave for. Gratefully, I had it approved!!

So, Thursday night, I got home, got things ready for Friday, and stayed up far too long playing with my new monitor. I can't come home and go right to sleep. I ended up hitting the sack around 5 a.m. or so. My alarm was set for 9:15 a.m. I did make it up and got ready for work, threw my camera gear, etc. in the car had made it to work on time, barely! I set my Zune to play This Providence rather loudly, and put in my earphones. I have to say that the time went both quickly and seemed to drag all at the same time, and it does seem I got a lot done. I managed to get some business done at the Credit Union on break, and left as close to 3 p.m. as I could.

At a little before 4 p.m. I arrived at The Avalon (the concert venue.) A line was already starting to form, and there were probably a good 20 people already there. I secured my spot in line and went back to talk to the TP guys for a bit. I asked Sean about a photo pass and he said, "no problem" and texted the venue right then. I offered to get them something from the local coffee place across the street, but he said "no he wasn't feeling well, and he left quickly." AS it turned out, he was really sick and flew back home. I hope he's feeling better and really appreciated that he would take the time to text me a photo pass when he was feeling so poorly. It kinda made me feel a little bad about asking.

On the way back to the line, I met up with a couple of friends I met in Pocatello, and we caught up on things. We waited in line together. I think it was probably about 5:30 or so This Providence set up a tent outside and most of the people in line went to watch their acoustic set (3 songs) and take photos. In the meantime, the local radio station handed out meet/greets for Hey Monday! for the first 10 or so people in line. That was kinda sad for a few really big Hey Monday fans who were definitely there first. Personally, I wouldn't have missed the This Providence meet outside for anything. I have met Cassidy before in Idaho and she seemed very nice, though, so I can't say I wouldn't have loved to have been there. :)

I asked if I could get my photo pass before doors opened (since that happened with Relient K) and was declined, so then I had to change lines to the will call line. I hate will call. It took a while and I barely made it to the front. I asked the gal next to me if I could stand between her and a friend, to take pics, but she also declined. I can't say I blame her there, but I had to ask. LOL It seemed like quite a while before the show started and it was actually very warm inside. Finally the opening band played (I didn't catch their name) and they played well, I thought. In fact all of the bands were pretty good. I was able to get a set list for Friday Night boys, and I really did like them a lot. Then it was time for This Providence! :) Yea!!!

As This Providence set up I kept hearing Relient K songs, including Curl UP and Die which is a favorite of mine. I get excited over silly things sometimes. LOL Then they played a Skillet song entitled, "The Older I Get" and that was followed up by a worship song. Andy was setting up drums at the time and started to play to it. He and I were laughing, and then I just sang along with the song. NO one else seemed to be getting it, or maybe they just didn't care, but I was cracking up. I thought it was great, but kind of a surprise since this wasn't a Christian concert or even a Christian venue or setting. LOL

Let me say that this was probably one of This Providence's best shows, except for it being just far too short. That's saying a lot since they have always been amazing. I think the only time that could compete was a small show at Solid Ground Cafe when they played requests. They sounded great and had a lot of energy. The vocals were probably best of the night for their set, and I could actually understand what Dan was saying when he talked between songs. Unfortunately the sound wasn't quite as clear for the other bands. They all still sounded good, but it was hard to make out the vocals or what the lead vocalist was saying when they spoke. After the set ended I was able to snag a copy of the set list. :)

Finally it was time for Hey Monday to set up and the crowd got pretty antsy, and a bit pushier. There was a kid behind me that kept trying to be funny about "moshing" sort of stuff and he wasn't helping. I know he was just joking around. I did tell him that if he slammed into me I wasn't going to get good photos to share. LOL I'm not sure he cared. LOL The gal next to me was a huge Hey Monday! fan, and she got pretty exuberant, and she was one that kept her arm in the air a lot. It's not the best for taking pics when you are the short one, but I can't fault her for having a good time. :) Being short is definitely a disadvantage for taking pics from the pit.
I only got a few pics of Hey Monday, but I did get one really good one. As for their performance, Cassidy has an incredible voice, and more energy than any one person should be allowed to have. ;) In other words, a great concert set!! I tried to get a set list, but failed on that one. I did get someone to let me take a photo of their copy, though.

After the concert, I bought a canvas tote from Hey Monday! and a tee from This Providence. Then I went outside and chatted with a few people, and with Dan for quite a bit. I had to wait for someone to pay me back for loaning them money to buy something, and after they left I spotted Andy and we talked for a long time about all sorts of things.

I finally hopped in my care and headed back for work. I stopped in Centerville and bought a drink and used the restroom at Chevron and then went to Wendy's drive through for a grilled chicken sandwich. Boy was I hungry and thirsty!!! Then I got back on the road. At about 31st St. in Ogden I could see a lot of emergency vehicles on the exit. When I glanced over I could see a bunch of guys standing around what looked like a car with the hood up, so I wondered if someone just totally missed the exit.

Before long, I was at work. I got back at 12:30, used the restroom again, and started back to work at 12:35 a.m., so I was able to leave and head for home at 2:35 a.m. I was pretty tired, but I was able to muddle through and make it safely home.

It was a fun day, but I think I'm too tired to do it again tomorrow or anything! LOL

Peace out

P.S. Happy Father's Day tomorrow, for all the dads!!