scenes from a rock show

I don’t go to a lot of concerts.  I dislike other bodies touching mine, I hate it when people mosh into me, I hate having to wait through an inevitably crappy opening act, I usually get hot and feel faint, and I find the standing rather exhausting. (Yes, I realize I sound like a real pale and wan pain in the ass right about now.)  But, and I realize this will spoil some of my indie cred, one of my favorite bands in the whole wide world is Third Eye Blind and they played in my town last night and I just had to go.  Even though it was in a venue (the Music Farm) I swore I’d never go back to because it was way oversold the time I saw Band of Horses (oh hey, there’s my cred back) and actually had to leave before the end because I thought I’d pass out from the heat and the stench of the sweat coming off the horde of shirtless goth dudes dryhumping all around me (no lie).  I’ve liked 3eb since their first album came out way back in like 1996, discovering them just as I realized there was newer music beyond my dad’s classic rock (though I still have a soft spot for that stuff).  I have all of their albums and even an EP, and it’s all still in rotation on my iPod.  So yeah, I had to go.

So my husband and I took our old fogey asses to a rock show last night.  And I loved it.  Here are some brief scenes.

  • We arrived before the opening act to score some prime real estate on the floor in front of the stage.  This meant 30 minutes of exposure to annoying undergrads (I can ID them because they didn’t have over-21 bracelets on) going on about how they’ve loved 3eb since their first album came out.  Oh really? Back when you were like, eight?
  • We inevitably stand next to the one person at the show that you don’t want to be standing next to.  With Band of Horses it was a group of shirtless goths who seemed to have gotten lost on the way to the gay club next door and took the opportunity of an indie rock show to dry hump each other for an hour.  This show, it was the Hippie Girl.  The type who says things like, “I just want to express myself with my body” and writhes around to some other beat in her mind, swaying and slithering.  Jon said, “I think she thought this was Widespread Panic or something.”  We spent the show trying not to let her dance ON us.  I should have asked her if she wanted to model for art classes.  I’m sure she’d have been down.
  • The opening act. Oh God.  Someone did not love Joshua James enough as a child.  His music is apparently the soundtrack to wrist slitting.  He literally said, “This song is about a little boy from Lincoln, Nebraska, who was kidnapped from his home and later found raped and murdered.”  As you can imagine, it was a really happy track.  We couldn’t understand a word he said, but I imagined they were about puppies being kicked and women being eaten by bears.  I will say that later, he came out to sing a 3eb song, and it sounded pretty good, if angsty.  So the guy has a decent voice, but might need to find some different inspiration for his songwriting.
  • But then, after a seemingly interminable setup and sound check, the main event arrived on the stage, and the sold out house went nuts.  The band rocked out, the crowd went crazy dancing and singing (parts of the show were basically a big sing-along), and by the end of the 4-song encore, my ears were ringing and my throat was sore.
  • Based on my observations of crowd behavior, I’ve now trademarked The Dick Move ™.  It’s that “oh, I see my buddy over there, can I squeeze through here?” thing people do to get closer to the stage.  Two guys and a girl pulled that on me and then stopped, right in front of me.  “We good?” the guy said to his girl.  I decided this situation called for me to be a bitch.  “UM NO, WE’RE NOT. I could see, and now I can’t.” The girl moved sheepishly to the side, and I thought to myself, damn straight, you better move, that was NOT cool.
  • I’ve also gotta hand it to 3eb, they’re not one of those bands that now hates and refuses to play the song that made them famous. We got to hear both “Semi Charmed Kind of Life” and “Jumper,” and they played both with the same enthusiasm that they gave to songs off their newest album.  They also seem to know they’re not as famous as they used to be, and seemed genuinely thankful that we were such an awesome crowd, which is probably why they gave us a 4-song encore.

So, I’m a happy fan today.  Not sure when I’ll feel up to another show, but I’m glad I went to this one.

he is risen

Jon went to a sunrise service on the beach this morning, while I, not a morning person, and unlike his medical resident self, unused to waking before the sun, slept in.  He brought me back some gorgeous photos, though, so I thought I’d share.  If you’re looking for a good Easter message, check out this video, Resurrection, by Rob Bell.

vacation, all i ever wanted

Well, Internet, I’m back.  Vacation was lovely.  Being married to a medical resident can be stressful and grueling, even on the non-resident, and just having some time to hang out and reconnect with my husband was just what I needed.  Did you miss me?

We started our vacation in coastal Maryland. It was too cold to enjoy the beach, and the place was a ghost town.  The high point was the best Italian meal I’ve ever had.  We randomly stumbled upon this place that seemed to reside in a renovated Pizza Hut, a place where they happen to make all their own pasta.  Jon ordered a dish with thin layers of pasta, ground veal, mozzarella cheese, and a very delicate tomato sauce. It. was. divine. Seriously. The single best Italian dish I’ve ever had.  I had a pasta dish with Italian sausage, and it was almost as good as Jon’s dish.  Also enjoyable was the flamboyant owner/manager who was singing solos, exuberantly greeting guests, and giving presentations of the specials with such flair that I wanted to try all of them.  Otherwise, being without cable in our normal life, we were actually more than entertained just to be able to watch cable television.  ESPN for Jon, marathons of “What Not to Wear” and “NCIS” for me.  Here are some highlights from the Maryland portion of the trip: Continue reading “vacation, all i ever wanted”

she’s the bessiest

I’m not one to participate in blog memes like “Wordless Wednesday,” so please consider the fact that I’m posting this on a Wednesday a coincidence. I have a longer post brewing in my head, but I am too busy to write it until tomorrow.  Plus, I wrote a whole Valentine post about Olive, so it’s Bessie’s turn.  This is how my crazy Catahoula Bessie likes to nap: Sure wish I were napping too!

snow in the southland

Last night Charleston got some snow. It’s pretty much the first snow that’s “stuck” in like 20 years. Even though we’ve seen PLENTY of snow in my husband’s home state of Colorado, we were giddy and excited like kids. I thought I’d share some photos.

dogs in the snow
Our dogs Bessie and Olive were first baffled by the fluffy cold white stuff, but quickly came to see it as a possibility for fun. They romped, played, and rolled in it. Bessie particularly enjoyed climbing on top of the picnic table and eating the snow that accumulated there.
This morning we went for a walk with the dogs to take pictures. This is our adorable house in the snow. If you're in Charleston, SC, you can let me know if you want to buy it in the next six months.
In case you are wondering why we flip out over snow here, please note that these trees are the kind of thing we're used to seeing. Palm trees. Balmy weather. 45 degrees being darn cold. Not this snow business.

programming note

I work at a university and classes start back this week, which means I’ll be spending most of my work time actually working– helping new adjuncts figure out their email, overriding students into full classes, assigning lockers, and generally telling everyone in the department to please take a deep breath and calm down. I’m also taking a class this fall and will be starting back to school myself for the first time in three years. Then we’re going to NYC this weekend for my husband’s birthday.  And then I have jury duty next week, so who knows what that will be like.  Basically posting will be lighter than usual for the next two weeks.

In the mean time, if YOU need to take a deep breath and calm down, I recommend looking at this picture of the Angel Oak. It’s a 1500 year old tree, the oldest living thing East of the Rocky Mountains, and I finally got to see it last week. I should perhaps be ashamed, but it sort of reminded me of the Whomping Willow, though it did not whomp us. DSC05304

fly away home

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home; your house is on fire and your children are gone!

Last week my husband and I flew away home to Colorado because his grandfather passed away.  On our first day there, we decided to take a drive to the mountains; my husband thought it would be a fitting tribute to his grandfather who loved to drive in the mountains, though he assured me that our drive would be less terrifying than a typical drive with Grandpa, who enjoyed driving quite fast on mountain roads.  We had initially planned to drive up to Mount Evans, only to get there and realize it was closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in July for road work.  So we turned around and headed back to Denver.

On the highway back to Denver is a sign that says “Buffalo Herd Overlook.”  Naturally, this lil Bufflo wanted to see some buffalos.  So we got off at the exit and drove around looking for a spot to spy some bison.  This really meant driving all over Genesee Mountain, as the signs for the overlook were somewhat less than clear.  We’d drive up the mountain a while, and then get out and look around and try to see some big brown, wooly beasts, then strike out, get back in the car, drive some more, and repeat.

DSC05254Finally, we got to the top of the mountain, and we still hadn’t seen any buffalo.  We decided to get out of the car anyway, and headed toward a flag planted on the very top of the mountain.  As we reached it, we noticed that the air was buzzing with small insects.  “Wow, this place has lots of ladybugs!” I said to Jon.  A man wearing overalls and standing on a rock nearby said we should walk over to a nearby tree if we REALLY wanted to see them.  We headed toward the tree, and slowly, what looked like orange bark turned out to be crawling.  Crawling with hundreds of tiny ladybugs.  They were swarming on every surface imaginable.  Another old man, who seemed about a million years old and was hobbling around the mountain with a walking stick, told us that he’s seen this phenomenon a few times before.  He acted like we weren’t seeing the craziest thing ever.

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But seriously folks, millions and millions of LADYBUGS! IT WAS THE CRAZIEST THING EVER! We sat for a while and watched them swarm and crawl over rocks and trees and grass.  Eventually I think they began to accept us as part of the scenery, because they slowly started to land on us! That’s pretty much when what had been the “cutest infestation ever” began to seem creepy.  I imagined my entire body covered in ladybugs.  I had visions of that scene from “The Mummy” where the scarabs swarm out of the mummy’s mouth, only with ladybugs flying out of MY mouth.  My skin began to crawl.  So with that, we snapped a few pictures and headed out.

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The next day, we picked Jon’s sister and her husband and daughter up from the airport after they arrived home from a vacation in Chicago, and we told them about the ladybugs.  “Crazy!” his sister said, “We actually saw that on the national news when we were in Chicago!” Sure enough:

And it gets even crazier! In preparation for Grandpa’s funeral, we all pulled out old family albums and were flipping through them.  And in an album from 1987, we found photos Grandma and Grandpa had taken of the exact same type of ladybug swarm on the exact same location: Genesee Mountain.  So, if you’re curious about seeing millions of ladybugs, and you’re wondering where to go (the hermits in the news reports seem not to want other people to come see them), Genesee Mountain is a public place, and you should go check them out!

And if you’re curious about the nursery rhyme at the beginning of this post, here’s the scoop: “Farmers knew of the Ladybird’s value in reducing the level of pests in their crops and it was traditional for them to cry out the rhyme before they burnt their fields following harvests ( this reduced the level of insects and pests) in deference to the helpful ladybird.”

UPDATE: found a source as to the “why” of the ladybug swarm.

The insects are out in force in the Front Range region of Colorado thanks to increased rainfall during spring and early summer. The additional moisture has made their food supply plentiful so their numbers have increased by 15 to 20 percent.

that’s a framer

New semi-regular feature, “that’s a framer!”  This way I can share the occasional cool photo I somehow get lucky and manage to snap, despite my lack of skills.  (Seriously, only part I struggled to pass in journalism classes was photography.)

These photos were taken Sunday evening at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

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A picture is worth 100 days

Did you know there’s an official White House Flickr page? THERE IS! I’ve been checking it out and thought I’d share some of my favorites.

One of my favorite blogs during the campaign was Yes We Can Hold Babies. Maybe they shoulda kept it up because of great material like this:

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, via Flickr.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, via Flickr.

This is perhaps the most high-powered and stylish chat I’ve ever seen.  Wish I could hang out with both of them!

Seriously, this could be an outtake from Vogue.  Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy, via Flickr
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy, via Flickr.

Seriously, that could be an outtake from Vogue.

I know this is mushy and silly and not all that intelligent, but I love that we have a First Family that clearly loves the crap outta each other.  It’s adorable that the President and First Lady can’t get enough of each other, and I hope that Jon and I are the same way, even after two kids and a decade or more.

Even the people around them cant stop smiling! Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, via Flickr.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, via Flickr.

And how adorable is this?

Looks like the tables are turned!  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, via Flickr.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, via Flickr.

There’s about a bajillion more photos in the stream.  Check them out!

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