Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who let the girls out in Chicago??

Ok, so the Chicago trip was mainly all about the Kings of Leon concert but since Jennie and Kelly had never been to Chicago I figured we had to do some of the free touristy things so they could say they popped their Chicago cherry. I wouldn't be much of a friend if I wasn't willing to pop a cherry, now would I?

We woke up fairly early considering we got in kind of late AND we all had to shower after being rained on, so at about 8 am we were all feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed. OK, that's a straight up lie. I think Kelly was the only one who was gun ho about being awake. And so as we're getting ready we hear this knocking on the door. Now, none of us brought a boy back to the room so we're thinking it's someone who's clearly confused. No- it's housekeeping asking us when we're leaving.

Hi- check out is at noon, bitch. I know you are all excited about not really cleaning but making it look like you did, but jesus. We still have three hours to make a mess if we want to. Whore. Good thing it wasn't me answering the door and good thing I have nice friends.

So after leaving and loading up the van with our shit, we decided that since our hotel offers no food (despite paying $323 for the night after taxes), we were going to hit up a Starbucks to feed Kelly and Jennie's addiction to coffee. I opted for orange juice and a donut. Both of which were disgusting. I took 3 sips of my juice and 2 bites of my donut before tossing them. Goodbye $5.71 I'll never see again.

But we saw the Chicago Bean in Millennium park. Super weird when it's all sunny and bright out. When I was here in March it was all rainy and gross so yeah. It's REALLY reflective in the sun. So here's Jennie and Kelly popping their Chicago cherry.

And then I had to get my dork on. Obviously.

OK, so I got my touristy dork on twice. Sue me.

But one thing that I didn't get to do in March was see the view. It was so cold and rainy out while we were there, not to mention foggy as hell, so when I visited the Hancock Building for a view we saw pretty much nothing. Which on it's own was kind of creepy. But this time I paid for the girls and I go up to the Observatory on the 94th floor because I? Wanted to see the damn city. And see the city I did.
To say it was gorgeous is a huge understatement. Seriously- it's Chicago for as far as you can see. I'm already itching for another girls weekend trip- this time focusing on Navy Pier and the beach.

So some of my more with it followers remembered that I started my Chicago trip by getting my period. The fun thing about me is that I'm nothing if not predictable. On every fun thing I have ever done in my life, any kind of trip, any kind of anything- one of two things will happen. I'll either get a migraine or I'll get my period. I had my period on the kayak trip. Any woman alive will just know how much you don't want to be having your period when you are stuck inside a fucking kayak for 6 hours. You also don't really want to be at a concert where you are going to get rained on. And because my girly bits are all not where they are meant to be, tampons are not an option for me. So yah- it's gross anyways and I gag thinking about it but seriously. Throw me in a car for 8 hours with my period and I? Am going to get cranky. Jennie and Kelly didn't tell me to settle the hell down so maybe I was ok after all. But walking all day Sunday? Dis-gus-ting.

We ended up leaving Chicago around 2:30ish, but then didn't actually leave the city limits until 4ish due to traffic. But guess what we got to drive next to for awhile??

A mariachi band! I am loving how the driver is kind of smiling.

Anyways. So while Jennie and Kelly watched the rest of season 2 of True Blood in the backseat, I drove us home as fast as I possibly could. We arrived in Superior at what- 11:30 pm? That was after a stop in Madison to get gas and eat dinner at a gas station Taco Bell where our order taker guy had hardly any teeth, and a stop at Rice Lake so I could pee and get french fries and a soda. Poor Kelly had another 20 minutes to go since she lives in a town outside of Duluth, but it wasn't bad. AND I didn't feel like falling asleep while driving so that's always a plus.

But this trip just reminded me how much I love the city. I thrive in the city. I feel like I'm in my element. Like at any given time there are a million things I could be doing at the exact moment and it's up to me to decide which thing is cool enough for me to go to. Whereas in Superior....not so much. A trip to Target is about as exciting as I'm going to get. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kings of Leon. Minus Bird Poop.

So after MONTHS (seriously- since March) of waiting....finally I went to Chicago to see my lovers, Kings of Leon. First off, I can't even tell you how much I love KOL because all of you would be here for days and by the end you would wish I permanently lost my voice or that my fingers would just seriously fall off already. Because I could go on for days about them, their music, and their talent. So please, hit play to your right to rock the hell out with me.

So I'm going to post more about the rest of the weekend tomorrow, but I seriously felt like this concert deserved it's very own post. The concert was actually held in Tinley Park in the amphitheatre there- which to be honest, made me nervous. Two reasons: number one being our seats were in row ZZ out of MMM and two, all of the reviews of the venue that I read Friday night were awful. I kept reading about poor sound quality and that sucks. But seriously- nothing would prevent me from going to KOL.

Jennie and I, pre-concert 

At the concert we realized our seats were fucking awesome. Almost in front of the stage, just enough back that we could see AND we had cover over our heads. This would come to be pretty damn important about an hour into the show.

Me and Kelly, pre-concert

Two opening bands played, The Stills and Built to Spill. I had only heard maybe two songs from each band prior so I didn't really know what to expect. Usually this is fine because I've discovered a lot of bands I love by them being opening acts so I am always there early to catch them. I feel like a lot of opening acts don't get the credit they deserve when really, they want it just as bad as the headliner.

The Stills were good. They seem new, they seem like they are trying to find their performing niche so to speak, but they were pretty good. Good enough that I'd like to hear more from them.

Built to Spill sucked so fucking badly I felt like my ears were going to bleed. Seriously, I was one step away from covering my ears and hiding under my seat saying, "Mommy make it stop" because that band? WOULD.NOT.STOP. Seriously. Nobody was feeling them. Hardly any clapping was happening between songs. The singer either had an abnormally large tongue, a speech impediment, or was drunk as fuck because everything was slurred. They had to start a bunch of songs over, and really? Save yourself the embarrassment.

I'm sad you can't really see this. But the tragedy is not just her unfortunate shorts, but her legs? Looked like they had a herpes outbreak. Seriously. It was disgusting. They were all red and rash like. DISGUSTING.

AND we got to sit behind the fat family. Yup. The mom? Had afro hair and I couldn't see around her. The dad who wouldn't just sit the fuck down (seriously- he was forever getting up to get them all food and drinks) was so sweaty and fat. So he would fan the sweat from his hair onto us. DISGUSTING. And they kept eating these hamburgers that smelled like ass and then proceeded to fart all night. Oh- and the teenage girls? Had skirts so short I'm pretty sure we saw vag.

In the middle of the Built to Spill set my dear, dear bestie Mr. O texts me about the KOL concert in St. Louis. And the bird poop. And because I don't watch the news and hadn't been in touch with the internet since 5am on Friday, I had no idea what he was talking about and thought he was messing with me. Coincidentally- he wasn't.

Jennie and I waiting for KOL. It was 99 degrees and 100% humidity. Goodbye makeup. So glad we spent time on you.

When KOL came out obviously everybody started losing their shit.

HEY! It's me with really bizarro lighting and pigtails!

Anyways, so they opened with "Crawl" which is just a good opening song. One thing about KOL is that they? Are so incredible live that I am willing to say they are better live than they are on an album. Don't get me wrong- I have all of their cd's and know the words by heart. I can listen to any of their songs and immediately feel the emotions behind it. But they are true musicians. They don't need auto tune. They don't need machines and shit to make them sound good. They work at it until they perfect it on their own. And that? Is a real rock band.

But at about five songs in, Caleb says, "Well- we made if five songs so far", no doubt in reference to the bird poop incident in which they had to leave after three songs. (Which seriously- I don't blame them. That is fucking disgusting and Caleb is a germaphobe. I think big props to him for even going out because I certainly wouldn't have. Grossness.) And like right on cue- the rain started. Along with thunder and lightning. It was AMAZING. I like rain storms anyways and the scarier the better, but this was just awesome to see. I did feel bad for the assholes on the lawn but not for long because the wind switched and then we were getting drenched. Which was actually fine because it was so mother fucking hot outside.

To which Caleb says, "We'll keep playing until the birds start shitting."

Oh Caleb- I heart you. *swoon*

Anyways. So they played hard. I started to get jealous about the bitches on the lawn because guess what? It is REALLY hard to rock out when you have a super heavy purse on you. And are in narrow aisles that slant downward. Because that? Has broken ankle written all over it. But I did at a few points. I had to risk possible ankle injury because this concert was worth it. I called two friends during "Sex on Fire" because if you could been there? ELECTRIC. I love the sound of an entire crowd drowning out the band while singing. They did it during "Sex on Fire" and obviously again on "Use Somebody". Surprise sing along of the night? "Knocked Up". I love that song anyways, but I am surprised at how many people sang along to it because nobody knew it at the Minneapolis concert this fall. Shame. I was also surprised that I appeared to be the only one anywhere around me to know "Molly's Chambers" and "Fans". What the hell, people?! I will say for the record that "Molly's Chambers" is in my top 5 of favorite KOL songs and also one of the top three of their songs that seriously will get me hot and bothered. A lil Sara Fun Fact for ya.

OK, so after the encore performance it was REALLY raining. And I mean REALLY raining. Anybody on the lawn were so far gone drenched they were in no rush. For those of us who were only wet on our backs we wanted to stay a little more dry but it wasn't happening. It took us maybe 20 minutes to get from our seats to my van in which we arrived totally soaked. Soaked beyond soaked. It was so worth it. My bra was retaining water. My shoes were retaining water. My underwear was soaked. My jeans were so wet I had a hard time getting them off.

Annoying thing- when venues don't have traffic control and make exits a free for all. With the ridiculous amount in fees we pay just to see a concert you think they could at least get a rent-a-cop or something. It took us a really long time to get out of the parking lot.

So here's me when we got back to the hotel. My hair had started to dry and my shirt was stinky. Makeup is gone. Yucky.

All in all? Fantastic fucking concert. Probably the best concert I've ever been to? Yes- definitely would say that. Muse is going to be a close second, but Kings of Leon put on a great show. I think they had about 20-25 songs in their set and even though Caleb mentioned having a sore throat and haggard vocal chords, you never would have known it. They rocked it out and they rocked it hard. They interact just enough but they are there to play for you and that's what they do. Their set looked great (my camera sucks so fucking bad- all my pics are blurry. Sorry.), they had a little bit of pyro, they had a million screens so no matter where you were you were seeing the band. And even though you know a lot of time and money goes into these shows, to me, it still felt like you were seeing a band on the edge of being discovered. Like the last stop before they make it huge. That? Is talent. I think it just confirms that they are still in touch with their fans, they are there to perform and make great music- not to indulge in all of the excesses that eat a band up. True musicians. I wish there were more of them.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm leaving......in a minivan...

...and I won't be back until late Sunday night...

(repeat that in your BEST Elton John voice.)

That's right hookers! This bitch is going to Chicago in approximately 20 minutes. By the time you read this me, Jennie and Kelly are (hopefully) in the middle of Wisconsin (if you're reading in the morning/early afternoon) with the intention of arriving in downtown Chicago at 3pm.

THEN.....I will attempt to woo Caleb Fallowill from row ZZ at the Kings of Leon concert. It sounds bad, but the rows go until MMM, so maybe it won't be so bad. CROSSING MY FINGERS.

And what better way to kick off an eight hour car ride than....dun dun dun.....

having your period. That's right- Mother Nature is once again proving that I'm actually HER bitch by giving me horrendous cramps, a headache, and yes- bleeding which may require stops. Which can only mean that I may be forced to use *GASP* gas station bathrooms.

Fuck you, Mother Nature. Fuck you.

See you all Monday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I shouldn't be allowed to drive alone at night. Ever.

For those of you who are late to the game, I went to Lilith 2010 on Sunday with my friend Krysten. The concert was supposed to be a Canterbury but thank god it wasn't because I don't know where that is I don't think. Anyways.

The concert was at the Target Center, which I've been to about a gazillion times. Thankfully I got into the parking garage on my first attempt unlike every other time I've been there and somehow ended up near a men's shelter which you can assume how nice of a neighborhood that is. Anyways. I'm sure Krysten is happy I didn't take us that route either. So getting to the Target Center was pretty uneventful. I had heard that there was a lot of construction and honestly I didn't see any of it, so I figured it was done or at least finished for the season or something. I wasn't worried.

UNTIL.... dun dun dun....

I go to leave. As you leave the Target Center parking thing where I was, you automatically go left and over this little bridge thingy. No problem. And no matter what, my GPS, Maggie, ALWAYS gets confused when I leave the Target Center which means I'm circling until she figures out what the hell she's supposed to do. And usually this isn't an issue because I have other people with me who kind of know where we should go or are capable of reading road signs which I seem to not be able to do at 11pm . Whatever.

So I'm driving and driving and realize that Maggie is WAY confused. Like she's still in the parking ramp. So I make a left turn so I would end up driving towards the Target Center again when ALL OF A SUDDEN she starts DEMANDING that I go right. Fine- I'll go right. Whatever- just get me home hooker.

I drive on the freeway and I'm seeing signs for 35 North and I'm like "Go Maggie!" until.... dun dun dun.... the road is closed. It's taking me a different way telling me there are detours. Cool- so I'm looking for detour signs. Which you would expect when you are on a detour route-- you would like some god damn fucking SIGNS to tell you where you should go next.

Unfortunately, the budget cuts for the State of Minnesota mean that MnDOT can't afford these signs. So people who don't know their way around Minneapolis are left looking like jackasses. And by this I mean driving through the scariest parts of downtown Minneapolis. Near midnight. In a mini van with a "feel your boobies" bumper sticker. I'm like 99% sure I saw a drug deal happen right in front of me at a stop sign. Obviously a stop sign doesn't mean you stop for a full two minutes but I was not about to honk to indicate that I too, would like to go somewhere. Preferably home.

Once I got the complete tour of downtown Minneapolis, I got the tour of the outer circle of Minneapolis. All while trying eight different routes to get onto 35 North. I will say that Maggie tried and she tried hard to get me home. EVENTUALLY, I found a lone 35N detour sign, mostly covered by trees in the corner of somebodies yard, with a left arrow. I took a left and MIRACULOUSLY, 35 North appeared. I soon saw the exit for 694 or whatever and then I saw a big sign that said DULUTH. It was glorious. Had I not been so fucking exhausted from driving almost two hours around Minneapolis I would have made more of an effort to smile.

So I'm driving. I don't really remember my drive between White Bear Lake and Forest Lake because I'm pretty sure I blacked out from exhaustion. Thank god there were no other cars near me otherwise that could have been awful. So from Forest Lake to Hinckley it was an absolute struggle to stay awake. I altered between warm and cold air. I had the windows all down, windows all up. Music as loud as it would go. I had caffeine and I was chugging it non stop, bladder be damned. Nothing was working. After what seemed like forever, I get to Hinckley and have to pull off. I ended up peeing (a lot) while I was there, got some muffins, walked around the parking lot of Tobies. Then I saw that Hardees was open so I thought maybe if I ate something that would help.

Guess what is really disgusting to eat at 1:30 in the morning? Hardees. I took maybe 6 or 7 bites out of my big roast beef and promptly threw that out the window. Maybe deer would like it better? The fries were equally disgusting so those went out the other window. (But don't worry- I threw the wrappers out when I got home.)

And I pulled onto my street at exactly (from my scribbled note in the van) at 2:58 a.m. Whoopsy- I thought it was 2:30. Whatever- I was tired. I texted three people around 2:30 to say I was home, but now I remember that was as I was pulling into Superior- just over the bridge and waiting at the light. So it took me almost 4 hours to get home. I was getting home as Matt was getting ready for work.

The moral of my story? I am not going to be driving home from Minneapolis/St. Paul by myself unless I absolutely have no other possible option. It's too dangerous. I am much better with someone else in the car even though I'm exhausted. I? Am not young anymore. I've officially become an old person.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lilith 2010- The Wrap Up

So about a week ago, one of my most favorite bloggers and quickly becoming real life friend, Krysten won some tickets to the Minneapolis leg of the Lilith 2010. Which obviously is fabulous since I wanted to go but being EL BROKE-O (Gini- my Spanish may be wrong here..) it wasn't a possibility. But Krysten is my hero so there.

Anyways. So we met up in Roseville at our new favorite restaurant, Flame. Seriously folks, if you go for no other reason (great food, fabulous server who wasn't even weirded out that I asked where she gother shirt, cheap prices, the BEST seasoned fries, smores as a dessert, fire up in there and really weird guys with fucked up hair walking by) you need to go for the bathroom. Seriously.

The sink? Is a trough with rocks. Sadly, the toilets don't have rocks but that's ok. I am wondering if the urinals have rocks because I think that would be nice. So my hope is that when I make Matt drive 2.5 hours to go out to get there (one way) that he will report on the urinal. Obviously, my duty as your Lambwhore Leader is to report back. But anyways- if you ever go to Flame or are deciding on a restaurant, you will love this place.

OK- so we went to Lilith and first thing I noticed: hardly anybody there. Now, it started at 2 with people going every 40 minutes or so with Sarah Mclachlan at the end so obviously people might skip the openers. Big mistake.

Chantal Kreviazuk

Amazing. If you don't know who she is- you are a loser. She's a FABULOUS singer/songwriter. I loved her set and she was so personable. Plus- if you've ever watched Dawson's Creek (Team Pacey) then you know her:

Vita Chambers
Ok- I'll admit, she was new to me. Actually, I heard one song of hers before but thought she was a flash in the pan. Dead wrong.
You need to get to know her. First thing I thought was that she sounded almost EXACTLY like a young Gwen Stefani- circa Tragic Kingdom. And those are big shoes to fill. Also- her stage presence?? AWESOME. I hate to say this but I love Hayley Williams from Paramore and think she was born to be on stage...but Vita? Better than Hayley. No question.

I liked Vedera. I liked them a lot. Krysten said she saw them open for Jack's Mannequin and they were good- she was right.
Such a pretty and melodic voice. This band could seriously go far. She reminded me of Natalie Imbruglia.

Now, I'm relatively new to Metric and on record, I really like them. A little different but I think they are still kind of getting into their groove. AND now that they are on the Eclipse soundtrack they are probably going to get big. Sadly, they didn't play the soundtrack song which is odd since most of the audience may know you from that one song. AND either the audio was messed up or the singer can't sing well live- but I couldn't really hear what she was singing. So either the band needs to come down a bit or she needs to sing louder. I don't know. BUT she had a GREAT outfit. No lie.

Kate Nash
My dearest Benji Hardcore and Dr. Brainspiller. I tried. I tried really hard to like Kate Nash. She's adorable and spunky. She swears and says "cunt". I can get behind these things.
But she sucks so bad live it's unbelievable. Seriously. 99% of the time she's literally screaming and talking gibberish and the other 1% she's wrecking her stuff. I get it- you're young and antsy. But pull your tampon out of your ass and that might help.

I? Am a huge classic rock fan. I grew up listening to Heart and they rocked. They rocked it HARD. They sounded no different than they would have in the 70s and 80s. I was so excited to see them.
If I hadn't been so tired I would have lost my shit during Magic Man.

Court Yard Hounds
Do you like Dixie Chicks? Then you should like this. Except...while they were good---- without Natalie it isn't the same. They brought on their daughters (I think) for a song which was cute. And even though Emily's voice isn't strong enough to be a live lead vocal, as musicians they are great. There is no denying that.

Mary J. Blige
This is were I get stone. I? Am not a big Mary J. Blige fan. Now that she's all married and found Jesus I'm kind of over her. And there were a few times where she wanted to bring it to church but thankfully she didn't. I was disappointed that her set was mostly slow, but she did bring it out for me once.

And dammit if she didn't do it in 5 inch heels.

Sarah Mclachlan
I love Sarah. I have all of her albums (except the new one..I'm working on it) and I have always adored her. I'm a little over "Angel" but that's ok. She is so fantastic live and I'm so glad I got to see it. Sad that her set was so short, but that's ok. I was EXHAUSTED at the end.

Tomorrow? I'll post about the drive home. Hysterics ensue. You know me- I never disappoint.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review: COMMUTERS by Emily Gray Tedrowe

So about a month ago or so I was approached by TLC Book Tours and was asked if I would like to read this specific book and review it for all of you. Which made me super excited for the following reasons:

1. I like to read.
2. I liked the cover of the book.

COMMUTERS by Emily Gray Tedrowe (her website is HERE)

Commuters: A Novel (P.S.)
So to start out, I'll provide the brief synopsis from the back of the book: "At seventy-eight, Winnie Easton has finally found love again with Jerry Trevis, a wealthy Chicago businessman who has moved to the small, upstate town of Hartfield, New York, to begin his life anew. But their decision to buy one of the town's biggest houses ignites anger and skepticism- as children and grandchildren take drastic actions to secure their own futures and endangered inheritances. With so much riding on Jerry's wealth, a decline in his physical health forces hard decisions on the family, renewing old loyalties while creating surprising alliances. A powerfully moving novel told from alternating perspectives, Commuters is an intensely human story of lives profoundly changed by the repercussions of one marriage, and by the complex intertwining of love, money, and family."

OK- so the story basically is following three characters, Winnie (the new bride at 78), Rachel (Winnie's daughter), and Avery (Jerry's grandson, fresh out of rehab). I have to be honest (because I'm nothing if not honest)- I really disliked Winnie and Rachel. I liked Avery because I felt, at the core, he really wanted to be a better person, that he was aware of the things around him and he wanted to be better. Winnie, while I think it's kind of sweet that old people fall in love and get married, is selfish. She is so fixated on building a pool, while removing a super old tree that is important to the community, just so Jerry can swim and feel better. I mean, I understand that swimming helps relieve aches and pains. I get it. But realistically? I have to think that most seniors understand that their time to die is coming soon. And I think her fixation on this pool and how unrealistic the dream is really stole her time with Jerry. It's like she couldn't really get beyond it. As a reader, it was really frustrating to me because I just wanted to shake her shoulders. In retrospect, maybe it was a way for her to cope with the inevitable loss of Jerry? I don't know- but it drove me nuts.

But Rachel. Oy. I really disliked her character. Not only was she mean to her husband, who survived a devastating accident that affected him permanently, but she was selfish. She's the type of person that is materialistic and more concerned about what people thought of her and her family than looking at what was truly important. And it's sad because everybody knows at least one person like this.

While I really started out disliking two of the main characters, I could really relate to the relationship between Winnie and Rachel. It echoed a lot of the things about the relationship I have with my own mom. Specifically times when Rachel questions her mother's motives and realizes she really doesn't know her mother. At another point Winnie realizes that through her pool project she either looks past Rachel's marriage which is on the rocks or doesn't see it in the first place. And honestly? It hit home.

I consider my mom and I to be close, but at the end of the day I wonder. I mean, she doesn't really know who my friends are, the things that make me tick, the things in my heart, the fears I have for the future. She doesn't understand why I do or say the things I do. And in turn, I don't really know my mom. Just because you've lived with someone for 28 years doesn't mean you know them. I don't know a lot about my mom after she had me. I hear childhood stories and I know some things from when I was little but there's a point in the timeline where I know nothing. And one of my fears is that someday, when she's gone, I'm going to find all of these things out and I'll feel sad that I never got to have a discussion with my mom. And it's nuts because there could be nothing there and it's all in my head, but what if there's something? So I felt like Winnie and Rachel are the same. While you just wish Rachel would wake up and appreciate her husband, her children, and the life they've built- you kind of know she won't.

And I have to say, without giving too much of the ending away, the way the Jerry character is phased out? Annoying. I honestly would have liked to have more Winnie vs. Annette (Jerry's daughter)- at least Annette hear some of the reasoning. I don't know- but I wish that character had been developed a little more.

I want to touch on Avery's character too. I loved Avery. He'd be the kind of guy, if I were single and dating, that I would automatically be drawn to. Kind of a bad boy, although recovering, a sensitive soul, the kind of guy you just want to hold his face and tell him he's special. He sounds dreamy. :) And I loved his relationship with Nona (his girlfriend) and the ending for his character? Fabulous. It almost feels like Avery & Nona could have their own book and I think that's a sign of some great character building- when you want to see more of them.

So in closing, this falls under my "good read" category. I really liked it, it made me look at the relationships in my life a little different. It was kind of nice to be able to step back and look at the same type relationship but as a third party. Maybe it's what I needed.