Saturday, November 28, 2009

Everyday should be Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I have met some amazing people, seen amazing shows, I have a job, a home, food to eat, a church I love, I've been happily married for 33 plus years, I have 3 grown children, a beautiful baby granddaughter, and another one who will be born any day now. I am thankful for many fond memories, and a crazy, but loving extended family. And if that isn't enough, I belong to a God who loves me and covers me with grace.

How can everyday not be thanksgiving?

Wednesday I was up somewhere between 8 and 8:30 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven. According to the temperature charge on the turkey bag, it would take 5-1/2 to 6 hours to cook the turkey. Then I noticed on the turkey bag, that the time for a 24 lb. turkey was 3-1/2 hrs. instead. Of course, I see this when it is out of the package, and ready to go. Timing would be tricky. So I figured out what I'd do when it was done when I didn't have to be at the church for Thanksgiving dinner until 4 p.m. I went back to sleep and woke up after about 3-1/2 hours to check on the turkey, which was definitely done cooking. I opted to keep it in the oven on warm and hoped it wouldn't dry out. Judging by the amount of juices in the bag, I figured it was a safe bet.

At 4 p.m. Ed and I arrived at the church. Others had already arrived before us, which is a good thing. :) We took the turkey, camera, etc. in and waited for my daughter to arrive. We had a very nice enjoyable dinner. I took quite a few pics.
The food was all pretty good. I ate carefully, but a little more than normal. There were a few really sweet, sweet potato dishes that were amazingly tasty. One of them was more like dessert, almost. I splurged with a little bit of apple pie. The nice thing was that there was a portion where most of the crust was gone, so it ended up probably being a little lower fat. I'm sure I exceeded my usual sugar levels by a good bit, though. Anyway, it was good food, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I was limiting myself. Bethany and Ed left not too long after dinner, and I was a little sad because I really wanted to see Avalyn a bit more. Jonnie, and Beryl read a few pieces on Squanto, and Thanksgiving from different perspectives, and I stayed and visited, took photos, and helped a little with clean-up.

Normally, after the event people have stayed and plotted Black Friday. IT's always been a good time. This year, though, people left a bit earlier, and I stayed while Jonnie made up a schedule of what opened when. The ads were all out on a table, so I looked through them a bit. Then I said my goodbyes to Pastor Mark and Jonnie, and headed for home.

When I got home, Bethany was still there, so I was able to see that sweet granddaughter of mine a little longer. I got to change her diaper.. lucky me. LOL
Then Bethany and I tried to decide what to do for Black Friday. We could neither one decide. I was supposed to call if I decided to go, but at 3 a.m., I still hadn't made a decision. I just worked on uploading and editing photos in the meantime.

I wanted only a couple of items from Black Friday sales, and they were in different places. As it turns out, Staples had a couple of things I wanted, but I didn't see their ad until I went through the e-mail later, so really late, I decided to just head over for Staples.

I arrived at Staples at about 4:30 a.m. En route, I noticed the huge line at Starbucks drive through and it made me laugh. Before I left I told Ed where I was going, and said I'd leave if there was a huge line. There were less than 20 people waiting, so I stayed. Sears was already open and it was just a hop, skip and a jump away, and a couple of gals held my place in line while I went over to take a peek. I must have looked rather ridiculous with my hoodie up around my head, and wearing a blanket. LOL (I had someone take a pic of me in my getup, but for some reason it didn't save.) :(

The only thing I found that I really wanted at Sears was this adorable dress for Avalyn that was only $9.60. So I bought it. So far, Sears is the only place I've seen some cute holiday dresses in the 0-3 mos. size. Then I went back and waited in line. I chatted lots with those around me and froze. It was rather chilly. At one point a guy in a van and his adorable little girl were selling hot chocolate. Later on, a Farmer's insurance rep. came by and gave out free chocolate with his bus. card. Clever people. LOL
Dress on the right was the one from Sears.. the other came from K-Mart:

At 6 a.m., the doors opened and the place was soon crowded. I found all of the items I had come for (an 8 gig CF card for $25, and a 4 gig CF cfd for $12.99, an AT&T cordless phone system with $15 instant rebate and $35 rebate, some CDR's and DVD-R's, etc.) I decided to kill time and wait for the neverending line to subside.
It wasn't happening, so I decided to bite the bullet and get in line, but not before I found a Universal Power Supply for $19.99 (didn't realize the $30 savings went to my Staples Card, though, until after I bought it, but still not a bad deal.) At one of the service counters, there was a sign to check out writing checks only, and hardly anyone was in it, so I wrote a check and escaped the huge line. $239, later, I left Staples and headed for home.

Before I even was able to catch any sleep, Bethany called, and wanted to go to Kohl's and K-Mart, which we did. She wanted an exercise bike for Christmas/birthday at K-mart, so I got it for her, and a few small items, including a dress for Jocelin who should be born any time now.

The line was long, but it wasn't too bad a wait. Then we fed Avalyn, and headed for Kohl's. I was able to get some warm sweaters in my size (that were not cardigans.) I haven't been able to find them anywhere. After Bethany and I finished shopping, we went to get in line. The line kept going, and going, and going.... and wound around the back of the store. By this time I hadn't eaten in a while, and it had been well over 24 hours since I'd had any sleep. I almost didn't make it and had to sit down a few times.
We finally made it through the line more than an hour later. Baby girl was starting to get kinda fussy, and so was I. LOL The checker was really nice, but not very fast. We made a bee line for the car. I told Bethany, that if I had found warm pull over sweaters anywhere else at all, I would have left the line. She said, "I probably would have let you." LOL
My KOHL's sweaters:

On the way back to my place, we stopped at Arby's and bought something for lunch and took it back to my place. We visited for a while, and after Bethany left, I just passed out on the couch.

I am really grateful for the things I was able to find on Black Friday, and I think Thanksgiving should be everyday, but praise God Black Friday comes but once a year! I have a feeling the retail staff agree about now. LOL

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On this night

In case you aren't familiar with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the title of this blog comes from the Christmas Canon.

Christmas came early tonight in Salt Lake City. Trans-Siberian Orchestra was in town. I left for the show later than I would have liked. There was an afternoon show, however, so I was concerned that parking might be even more difficult if I arrived too early. Trying to time things right seemed tricky. The timing worked out great, as it turned out, and I arrived about 1/2 before doors. It wasn't too long to wait, even if it was a tad chilly out.

Once inside, I purchased the program and headed for the merch table to purchase Night Castles." I still had to wait a little bit for the doors to the arena itself to open. Once the door opened, I made my way down the long flight of stairs to the floor, was able to get my wristband on, and find my seat pretty easily - Floor 1, Row 8, Seat 3. I was pretty far to the right, but since Al Petrelli usually spends a good deal of time on the right side of the stage, Jane was practically in front of me, and there is a platform on the right near the balcony. So I had decent seat after all. I even got really lucky and no one 6 foot tall sat in front of me!!! :) I made conversation with those around me, as I always do. Most of those sitting around me had not seen the show before. :)
The lights this time around were as big and bright as ever. Laser lights, stage smoke, steam, flames, and even fireworks. This is what the lights looked like when they were off, before the show (pardon the really bad cell pics...)

Nothing like fireworks indoors:

I absolutley loved every minute of the show. Anthony Gaynor's voice as narrator for the Christmas Eve story line is a joy to listen to as he almost sings some of the words. Bart was completely awesome as the bum this year as he always is. The singing was top notch as always, as the show goes from classical to totally rocking and pretty much everything in between. Jeffrey Scott rocked it with his bluesy, gritty voice. Tommy Farese was moving as always as the "father" in the story line, and I think this was the best year ever for his vocals as well. This year there still was no Anna Phoebe, who went to the East Coast tour last year, but there were two really amazing violinists. I will get their names down soon, but they were good and fun to watch as well.

After the show ended, I made my way to the autograph table and stood in line. I think I was pretty much in the middle. We waited quite a while, and I finally went up and checked at about 11:36 and the table was still empty. Finally we heard the cheers and knew they had arrived. Al Petrelli was at the head of the table (usually he is at the end.) I was able to talk to him briefly. I sort of got in trouble talking to Bart and Tommy this time around. I can't help it.. you get 1 minute a year to say everything. LOL I told Bart that he almost makes me cry every year. He said, "almost" how could he get a tear. I said he actually did last year, but I pretty much know what to expect now. His vocals this year were the best ever, and his singing was amazing. I totally love Bart. At the autograph table (which they do ever year), Bart was sitting next to Tommy Farese, whom I really just adore. I know if Al, Bart, Tommy, Angus and a few of the others every leave that will def. get a tear from me.

At the end of the table I grabbed my autographed program (more of a book of pics than an actual program, really) and security told me which way to go. I asked if I could take a photo, and the guy said, "just one" so I tried to get Bart & Tommy. Someone walked in front as I was taking it, so I waited to get an acutal photo. Just as I was about to snap it, the lights went out, so I tried again and Bart gave me the thumbs up. It really didn't work out so well in the dark, but this is the result:

Tommy was joking about the fact that the lights were turned out and said they should tell ghost stories. I had to leave at that point as I couldn't really find a good justification for staying (other than I wanted to hear if Tommy actually did come up with a good ghost story.) LOL I headed for the car and finally for home.

I can't wait for next year. Some people say that the Christmas season should begin after Thanksgiving. For me.. it begins with TSO. It's fun that they are so close together for me this year!

Rumor has it there may be a spring tour. I can't wait to see what is in store.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Merry Thanksgiving and Happy Christmas?

You know, it's really tough to come up with catchy blog titles. I remember in school and the emphasis in Creative Writing on finding a title to grab the reader's attention. I'm not sure I ever mastered that one.

I never really finished blogging about my October, but it was one very full month!
In addition to the Snow Patrol concert, and my trips Vegas and Colorado, I started back to work, started watching my granddaughter when her mom was at work, went to see Eisley (with Say Anything, Bayside, Moneen, et al.),

worked during the day in hospitality and catering for Remedy Drive, and that same evening saw Mae in concert and collected a carful of things for The Road Home (homeless shelter and services) and took photos for a Harvest Party at my church, October was insane, but good. November has still been very full, but gratefully a little slower.

Tomorrow I will have the great pleasure of seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra from
Row 8, Floor 1 at the Energy Solutions arena (which used to be called The Delta Center for any former SLC residents that haven't kept up. LOL) I'm not a huge fan of this venue, and not so crazy about floor 1, but I'll def. take row 8! LOL This will be the 4th year of me seeing them and it is always a highlight of my year. Unfortunately, they don't allow any photography, so not fantastic pics will follow, but that's o.k. After the show, they always do a meet/greet or as the line by the table autograph sessions are sometimes dubbed, a "greet and leave." LOL I still always manage to get a few words in. LOL

Thursday, I will be at my church for a Thanksgiving meal. I am bringing a turkey. In a stroke of fantastic and fortuitous timing, I was able to get a 24.62 lb. turkey for only $.40 a lb. at Wal Mart.

There was a limit of 2, at the time, so I picked up a smaller second turkey for around Christmas time. I won't be home on Christmas day, so I may have to fix it just a little late. :) I will be in Arizona, visiting my daughter, and her baby (which is due on Dec. 5.) So it will be a warmer Christmas this year.

For those who keep up with me and my crazy concert schedule (all one or two? maybe...) I will be at the Winter Wonder Slam in Boise, on Dec. 8 to see Relient K, primarily; I have a ticket to see Brand New/Manchester Orchestra in Jan., and a ticket for Jack's Mannequin in Feb. I am trying to behave myself and slow down, but it's tough! LOL I do really want to see Dashboard's acoustic show on Dec. 4, but not sure if I will go now. I had a ticket for the same show (non-acoustic) in November, but they cancelled and automatically refunded which I didn't totally understand, but now I'm not sure if I want to tackle it. I know John Allred has a show coming up, so if I have to choose, I may just catch his who instead. I have to see how the timing works out this time around.

I am off work now probably until next season which for me will most likely start somewhere between the end of January and the middle of February. The last two years, I have been called back the middle of February. Things seem less predictable every year, however, so I have no idea what to expect.

In the meantime, I am trying, albeit very slowly, to accomplish a few things. I've been going through my clothes and getting rid of things that are just too big for me to wear now. I have quite a growing pile. Hopefully between Thanksgiving and Christmas I can catch up on a little rest and get a lot more accomplished.

My granddaughter is growing like crazy now, and it's fun to see. She smiles more, and has even laughed for me (or was that at me.) ;) Today I took some snapshots of her smiling for her grandpa.

We also watched Star Trek. I liked it. The ending was different, so I'm not quite sure what to think of it yet.

I hope everyone has a very blessed Thanksgiving, and a truly Merry Christmas this year.

Peace out,

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Two in One Attempt...

Saturday was an interesting day. I had a ticket to see We Shot the Moon (doors at 5 p.m.) and Sherwood (doors at 6:30 p.m.) and I knew it would be cutting things close. I was told early shows at Kilby Court usually ended by 8 p.m. and Dan said that Sherwood usually plays around 9 p.m. for headliners, so I figured I could make it. The shows were only a few blocks from each other.

Nothing about Saturday really went as planned. I had planned to sleep until 1 p.m., but my husband woke me up at 11 a.m. because my daughter needed a bill paid by noon.
I knew it was supposed to be cold, but it was snowing. I planned to leave at 3 p.m., but instead I left at 4.

I thought this could work, but before I left I saw that We Shot the Moon's van and trailer had rolled. I found out they all walked away from it, and I asked Jason (via facebook) if they were still playing and he said Jonathan would be playing an acoustic set. So I headed down the road.

I got to Kilby around 4:30. I usually get there early enough to use one of the few spaces right by the venue, but I think I just missed that opportunity, so I parked on the street and headed back. There was a small group of young people there already but they never got in front of me in line... they could have as they were there first. It was literally freezing cold out, so I was glad when they let us in 10 minutes early even before set up.

The show pretty much started out on time, so I was hopeful, but there were a lot of artists. The show was pretty much acoustic all around, which was actually kind of nice. Tyler played first. I don't know his last name. I think I've seen him before, though. He seemed kind of nervous.

The second guy was a 15 year old (Adam something or other?) and he was really pretty good. I kept thinking he was going to be completely amazing by the time he was 20.

Then a band played called Between the Avenues (I think, not totally clear as I was super tired.) The first song and a half was a tad rough vocally, but after that they were awesome -- especially when the two guys harmonized. I don't know if I've seen them before or not, but three out of the 4 were quite familiar, so I'm pretty sure that I have.

Then Aaron of Larusso played an acoustic set. I always love hearing him live.

Another local guy by the name of Mason Jones played. He was a lot of fun. He mentioned audience involvement, so I started clapping during one of his songs, but no one else was. IT was really odd, so he just went over to me and was saying, "Yea, that's what I'm talking about." I was having a hard time not laughing, but it was a little awkward. FINALLY, everyone else started clapping and having a good time...tough crowd. LOL

Then it was finally time for Jonathan to set up. The gal behind me said, "It looks like you might not make it to Sherwood, so I asked the time and it was 8:15 p.m.) I was disappointed, but still hopeful.

I decided to go to my car and get some things I had for Jonathan, et al., so I asked the gals behind me to watch my things and hold my place and they graciously did.
I bought A Silver Lining as I wanted to purchase a hard copy at the show, and ran to the car. I got back just after Jonathan started the first song.

Jonathan was definitely grateful to be there alive and playing. I think he was shaken up but at the same time seemed almost eerily calm. He said he wanted to hug everyone. (And yes, I took him up on it after the show.) There was a good crowd there, but it wasn't overly tight. Jonathan just played acoustic with the keys (no guitar at all) so his repertoire was limited. But he played quite a few requests, and then played a few Waking Ashland songs. Several of us requested The Bright Side, and he wasn't sure he could pull the whole song off, but he did it beautifully. People sang along to almost every song. It was pretty awesome. Anyway, the show ended at about 4 minutes before 9, and I had some things to give Jonathan, so I probably was headed out by a few minutes or so after 9.

I figured I'd miss about half Sherwood's set. It literally took me a few minutes to arrive at Studio 600, but probably 15-20 to find a place to park and get into the venue.

When I arrived I saw Sam (promoter) at the door, and he said, hurry they are playing the last song. So I wormed my way up to almost the front, said "hi" to the rest of the band standing next to me, and took two pics of Nate. Then it was over. I hoped for an encore, but if there was one, that was it. I heard the last half of the last song! Sam got on stage and made an announcement, so I took a few pics of him doing that.

LOL Then I went over to the merch table and talked to people. I bought a Sherwood hoodie because it was so cute, I was freezing and I'm into warm clothes at the moment! Then I talked to Dan for a while, and went back over to get change at the merch table for a twenty and left the hoodie there.. at least that is where I last remembered holding it and I did set it down. I talked to Mikey really briefly, and to Nate briefly and he told me they'd probably be back in the spring. Then I started talking with Corey and followed her around a bit. I wanted a photo with all they guys, but they needed to hurry and load out, so I waited. Then Corey walked with me to my car because I had something for her, and some hot chocolate for the guys. Then I drove back. They were all on the bus already except for Joe, so I just had a pic taken with Joe. Oh, and I put in a song request for springtime. LOL I'll see if it works!! ;) At least I got to say hello to everyone, so it was still kinda worth it all.

I went back to my car and realized I really didn't have the hoodie anymore, so I went to the venue where there was some sort of dance party, and they let me look. I didn't really expect to find it. I got back into my car and texted Corey.. who texted Lindsay, so they are going to send it to me.. isn't that awesome! I was much relieved!!!

Anyway, so I made the trip home. I was super tired, but got on the computer and worked on pics and made it to bed about quarter to 4 in the morning.

So.. I'm beat, time for some hot tea and a little sleep.

Hoping for some sweet dreams...
Peace out