Monday, June 29, 2015

Mixtape Review

So, remember I made those tshirts for the Mixtape festival?
I made them in February and we finally got to wear them yesterday!

Bottom left is supposed to be "LOVE"
We left 20 minutes late because it takes a long time to pose properly for candid pics.

See how our shirts match the sign????? Except the sign is orange, which I hear is the new black.

So here's the recap of the concert for you:

Salt N Pepa opened - we only caught the last bit because we were a little late, but they sounded really good! And we heard Push It, which is the quintessential song from them.

Then rain and a little wind.  And a break between acts.  

Then Sugar Ray.  Confession:  I thought Sugar Ray was the lead singer's name.  It's not.  His name is Mark McGrath.  I thought that was a motocross racer.  But that's actually Jeremy McGrath.  It was raining and I was sitting on a garbage bag.  I didn't want to stand up for Sugar Ray because I didn't want my garbage bag to get wet for my least favorite act of the show, plus I thought I might be tired later and want to sit down on a dry seat.  But quickly I realized that to fully enjoy MixTape, one must stand up and sing along.  So I did.  And they did some covers of other songs that were fun and actually, they were pretty good.  And it was raining really hard and he was wearing white pants. Props to Mr. McGrath.

Then rain and a little more wind.  And another break between acts.

Then Nelly.  Nelly likes to talk instead of sing.  Well, he doesn't really sing when he sings either. But I give props to Nelly because it was raining really hard when he performed and he went on with the show, which is more than I can say for TLC.

TLC decided to not perform and word in the cheap seats was that it was due to the weather.  I guess TBoz and Chilli (with 2 l's, not to be confused with chili, the spicy, meaty stew eaten with cornbread)....I guess they only sing about waterfalls in the studio.  When actual water falls, they're out.  Boooooo, TLC, booooo.  You are old, but you're not made of sugar and if Salt N Pepa can get out there, so can you.  I was really hoping for a hologram of Left Eye, but I guess I should have just hoped for the living members to actually appear.  Very disappointing.  Crazy, Sexy, NOT Cool.  At the very least, you could have skyped a song or two from your tour bus and just told us the truth.  "Dear fans, we don't want to get wet.  Our weaves are very expensive and we have 2 more concerts in Canada beginning tomorrow, which means we cannot get our hair wet today."  

The line-up online showed that Vanilla Ice was the opening act, but he had not performed yet.  We wondered if he had gotten himself arrested again for stealing plywood or shingles again.  There was another wait, so we decided to brave the bathroom line.  It was long and slightly disgusting because of the smell from the crabcake vendor nearby, but we made it.  

Then it was time for the main event, NKOTB.  They were about 50/50 for me.  

On the negative side:
  • They sang a good many slow songs, which aren't much fun when you don't have someone to slow dance with. 
  • There was a lot of pelvic thrusting.  One or two is fine.  10 in a row as a feature in the opening song is a little off putting.  Maybe it's just me.  

On the positive side:
  • They sang the classics and they shot confetti.  
  • They had a quick change cam, which was kind of funny.  More subtle and classier than the pelvic thrusts, imo.  
  • A shirtless Joey sang a cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams".  I would have put this in the negative column, because he was my least favorite and his performance was not only shirtless, but included a push up.  However, his voice sounded good, his hair looks much better now and I like the Eurythmics, so I decided it was a positive.
  • The dance moves.  NKOTB is kind of like the Temptations.  Smooth moves at the back up mics.  And lots of show choir-ish hand gestures.  
  • Vanilla Ice came out in the middle of the NKOTB set and performed.  I had forgotten about Go Ninja Go, but mercifully, he only sang part of that I think, and then he moved on to Ice Ice Baby.
  • Donnie Wahlberg.  I mean, I could have just listed his name in the positives and it would have outweighed the negatives, am I right?
Other highlights included:
  • Seeing old friends from back in the day, especially my middle school BFF.  We haven't seen each other in many years....We live about 500 miles apart and it took this concert for our paths to cross.  
  • Being called "sir" at a Denny's inside a truckstop at 1 am.  Completing my order with a straight face while my friend snickers and snorts next to me.  You probably had to be there for that to be funny, but it was.
  • Realizing how old we are compared to my friend's 14 year old daughter.  She was a trooper, but there was a small window of time where she hunkered under her poncho and played a game on her phone instead of taking in the show.  Also, she didn't pretend to not know us when we were dancing, even though she probably wanted to.
  • Not dying on the way there.  It was a torrential downpour and we saw no less than 3 cars and one tractor trailer in the median, plus a very close call on the part of a guy behind us who almost bit it when we had to slow down.  Props to my friend for driving us safely and also driving up and back in one day.

I can't think of a clever way to tie this post up, but let me just say that when I saw the weather forecast, I wanted to back out and not go.  But I bought some rain boots, put on a poncho and had a really good time.  It's a life lesson, really.  You can choose to be negative and look only at the rain or you can choose to dance like a fool in the rain and have a memory that you will always treasure.  

I should probably post a link to a relevant song here, but I'll just post this because I like the leg move they do in the video.  It was before MC Hammer.  That's old. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

in spite of spite

This rhododendron was a gift to us on our last night of Awana, two years ago.  I have not watered it, pruned it, fertilized it, or done one thing to it.  But it spite of me.

Sometimes I wonder if that is how God is working in my life right now.  I have not watered, pruned or fertilized my faith in quite awhile.  That is to say, I have not been going to church.  Nor have I been reading my Bible. Nor have I been praying. But still, God has been watering, pruning and feeding spite of me.

I've been reading Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans.  She's a writer who grew up in the evangelical church, stopped going to church, and found the church again in a way she did not expect. It resonates with me, but not in a way that has made me take any action.  Yet.

Church has always been a part of my life.  I liked going as a child.  I liked going as a teenager.  I liked going as a young adult.  Now that I am 39, I'm not liking it so much. I don't mean to say I don't like God or believe in God anymore.  I do.  I am just tired of church in the way that I have experienced it.  Sunday morning.  Sunday night.  Wednesday night.  Picnics.  Meetings.  Softball games.  Weddings.  Funerals.  It feels more like a social club than a living body.

I know I need the church.  I just don't know if I need church.

I don't need to fill in the blanks of a 5 point sermon.   I need my soul filled by God's spirit.

I don't need to give my tithe in the offering plate.  I need to offer my life and everything I have to God.

I don't need to wear my best dress and heels to show my respect in God's house.  I need my soul to kick off it's shoes in the presence of God who is holy.

You get what I'm saying.  I'm at a place where I'm just tired of bullshit.  I can't sit in a pew surrounded by it and pretend it doesn't stink.  I just don't have the poker face for it anymore.  So I've moved my seat.  Out of church. (If you are offended because I just said bullshit, sorry.  Sorry you are more worried about that than you are about lots of other way more important things.)

Have I made the wrong decision?  Probably.

I know I need to be a part of the body.  I'm not sure what part I am.  Probably an index finger.  I'm pretty good at pointing.  I might be an eyelid or a toenail or something, but whatever I am, I know I cannot stand alone.

Seeing that rhododendron today made me think maybe it's time to come out of my dormancy and bloom.  We'll see.  Until then, I'll trust that God will provide rain and sun for spite of me.

Post script:  I wrote this post a few weeks ago, when my rhododendron was actually blooming.  I hesitated to actually publish the post because....well, just because.

I changed my mind tonight because I wanted to add this to it:

VBS is this week.  I asked Superfrykid if she wanted to go and she said no, she was too old for VBS. I said fine, secretly grateful that I would not have to drive her every night and even more grateful that I wouldn't have to face the dear ones at my old church who would most certainly ask, "Have you found another church?"

The wind changed and Superfrykid asked to go.  So I took her.  The first 2 nights I spent chatting with my friends, avoiding the questions (mostly), and pretending to help in the kitchen.  The third night, I went to visit my grandmother aka "The Don", who lives pretty much right next door to the church.  Tonight, I accompanied my daughter as her own personal chaperone to each station as punishment for misbehaving and generally acting a fool the night before.

It sounded like a good punishment at the time, but I quickly realized that I had signed myself up to attend VBS.  Since I have been avoiding church in general and specifically avoiding my "old" church, this was particularly prickly to me.  But I told Superfrykid this was her punishment, and so I went.

The first station was the Bible Story.  The lady who teaches at this station is a woman who could talk the socks off of any person on the face of the earth.  We'll call her "Miss Cathy" after Chatty Cathy.  Miss Cathy had things for the kids to touch and hear and see and they all listened to her as she told them the greatest story ever told.  At the end, she ran out of time and, as the kids left, she told them, "Miss Cathy loves you".  The kids were already half way out the door, I don't know how many of them heard her.

As the night went on, that's all I could think about.  "Miss Cathy loves you."

You see, after the first couple nights, I asked Superfrykid and one of her friends which VBS station they liked best.  They both said the Bible Story.  I thought it was odd.  What kid says the Bible Story is their favorite?  I figured they'd say snack or games.  Both of them, independently of the other, said emphatically, Bible Story. After tonight, I realized why.  I asked Superfrykid if the reason she liked Bible Story was because Miss Cathy told them she loved them.  Her eyes crinkled and she nodded.  I could tell that I had hit the nail on the head.

I'm not saying this will make me return to my old pew this Sunday.  But it was a little drop of much needed water to this old rhododendron with curled up leaves.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

mixtapes, nkotb, and puffy paint

Things I like:
a bargain
spending time with friends

Things I love:
a great bargain
a short road trip with good friends
80's music

So when a friend mentioned that there's this thing called the MixTape Festival in June not far from us,..... and that Groupon had a great deal......and that the concert stars New Kids On The Block, TLC, Salt n Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Nelly and Sugar Ray........I was totally in.

Let me just say that I am by no means a superfan of any of these people or groups. However, I think this line up is epic.  And the tickets were $29!!!  We tried to get them for $20, but those were sold out.  Still, for $9 more, we might not have the absolute worst seats, right?  Who cares about that anyway?  The cheap seats will probably be more fun.....the serious fans will be up front and I need to be able to not know all the words and not have anyone around me care.

Sugar Ray I could maybe live without and maybe substitute somebody else. Like Jane's Addiction or Coolio or Kriss Kross.

Let's be honest, the only Jane's Addiction song I know is Been Caught Stealing. Somehow, I remember watching that video as a kid even though we didn't have MTV.

And let's also be honest that the only Coolio song I know is 1 2 3 4 and I also remember watching that video and thinking that part where he rides the Big Wheel is hilarious.  Still think it is.

And let's all be honest and say that the only Kriss Kross song any of us know is Jump Jump and how old are they now, anyway?  Take them off the list.  (Disclaimer: I just googled them and one of them is dead, so maybe they could do a TLC thing and hologram that guy in like I am so hoping they do for Left Eye.)

I've been really excited about this concert and decided that since I do not have a vintage NKOTB tshirt I can wear....(nevermind the fact that even if I did have one, I could only fit one boob and half of my muffin top in it since I am twice the size I was back in the day).....anyway, I decided to make my own shirt.

Here's a quick tutorial:

Supplies from Michaels
$3 t-shirt
$11 in puffy paint (black, orange, pink & blue - I got glow in the dark-yay!)
sharpie marker - fine tip
pencil, ruler & notebook paper
piece of cardboard

Step One! we can have lots of fun
I did a rough sketch on a piece of paper first just to see what it looked like.  I used a ruler at first, and then ended up free handing the rest.  Wash your t-shirt and place a piece of cardboard inside so the paint doesn't bleed through. 
This is the graphic from the website I used as my guide

Step Two! there's so much we can doooo
I had hoped when I traced over the letters with my fine-point sharpie, that enough of the lines would bleed through onto the shirt for me to trace over.  That didn't happen, so I just placed a dot on the corners of each letter and pressed down hard until I made a hole in the paper.  I actually pinned the paper to the shirt so I wouldn't accidentally shift the paper. Then I went back and filled in the lines of each letter. You can see the dots on the paper in the pic.  I also tried to just fill in with Sharpie on the L at the bottom, but realized I would run out of ink before it was all over, so I switched to puffy paint.  Basically, I tried not to make it "puffy" - I just used the tip of the bottle to spread out the paint.  Beware of "bubble farts" when you squeeze the bottle because it can splatter.  For other projects, I have squirted the paint out into a cup and painted it on with a brush, but I thought using the tip of the bottle worked just fine for this.

Step 3! it's just you and meeee
Fill in any white spaces you may have missed and let it dry (I let mine dry for like a week because I am a procrastinator & like to have unfinished projects laying around my house.)
Front of shirt
Step 4!  I can give you more
I added the line up on the back using the puffy paint.  I just free handed it and tried to match the original the best I could. It ended up a little higher than I would have liked, because I kind of have a hunchback, but I think it will be ok.    
Back of shirt - glow in the dark puffy paint

Step 5!  Don't you know that the time has arrived
There's really no step 5, but I had to finish out those Step by Step know you're singing it now!  Sorry about that.  But you could be singing Ice Ice, Baby or Push It.  You're welcome.

It's possible I will be making more of these for my friends so we can all match. Maybe I can add our names to the sleeves and we could be like an official middle aged woman club.  Or a gang.  Like a biker gang with minivans instead of Harleys and glow in the dark puffy paint instead of leather.

So I'll end this blog post with  2 questions:

a.  Who's your favorite NKOTB member?
KWTF:  Donnie, duh.  

b.  Who would you substitute for Sugar Ray?
KWTF: Jane's Addiction only if Duff McKagen came back 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Ten Annoying Things of Today

Top Ten Annoying Things of Today:

1.  I accidentally overdrew my checking account and got charged $36 six times.  I hate math.  And money.  And when I try to be carefree and it backfires on me.

Actually, that's it.  Just one, not ten.

Told you I was bad at math.

Tomorrow I'm going to the bank to see if they will have mercy on me and refund 5 of my paid item fees.  Groveling at the bank to start the new year.  Good times.

On the plus side, I bought something at Gabe's today that was marked $1, and the clerk could not get it to ring up right, so she charged me 50 cents and called it a day.

I'm still down though because of those NSF fees.

2 steps forward, 3 steps back.

Welcome to 2015.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 is almost here!

Need some inspiration for 2015?

It's not even here yet and I'm already beginning to do some New Year's-ish things.

1.  Ate 2 donuts from Krumpes for breakfast.   Eating healthy resolution broken BEFORE the new year even begins?  Genius.

2.  Washed my make-up brushes.  Not sure I've EVER done this before.  So gross. Yet, hopefully inspiring to someone out there who needs to do this too.

3.  Cleaned out my medicine cabinet AND my food pantry.  Had some sauerkraut that expired in 2012.  And some ear drops that expired in 2011.  Again, so gross. Yet, hopefully inspiring and potentially life-saving for that someone out there who might be saved from botulism.  Or totally ineffective gingko biloba.

4.  Photo organization.  Still in the process, but working on printing photos and deleting them from my phone.  Does anyone else still print pictures?

5.  Think about deleting my facebook account.   I say this every year and we all know it won't happen.  But I still like to think about it.

6.  Bossing Superfrydad around and getting him on my clean it up bandwagon.  He is working on getting new shutters, painting the front door, putting up a cast iron dinner bell that will hopefully be the endcap to a grape arbor, getting rid of random crap out of our basement, and other random jobs I cannot do.  It's very satisfying to get someone else to do stuff for you.  I should be an executive at a giant corporation. I'm great at delegating.  Actually, not really.  I'm a control freak who only delegates jobs I absolutely cannot do or just don't want to do.  And I don't like to wear a suit.  If I could be an executive who wears yoga pants and only deals with people that listen to me, I'd be killer.

I will turn 39 in less than a week.  I've got to get it in gear.  Not like I plan to die at 40, but I suddenly feel like I am running out of time to do what I need to do. What do you need to do in 2015?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Break a leg

I wish I could say my absence from the blogging world is due to my world travels helping orphans or something awesome like that.  Truth is, I just haven't been feeling it lately.  Sometimes I start to write something and then I realize that this blog is not a personal diary for the world to read. That's what facebook is for, right?

If you just nodded your head in agreement with that last statement, maybe you should rethink what you post on facebook.  Also, maybe you should begin working on identifying sarcasm.  I'm looking at you, Sheldon Cooper.

Do you have a bucket list?  I don't.  Why should I make a list of things I'll probably never do?  It's kind of a downer, really.

But if I did have a bucket list, one thing I might include would be to be in a musical, preferably on Broadway.

I'm sort of crossing that off my non-existent bucket list.  It's not Broadway.  It's not off-Broadway.  It's not way-off Broadway.

It's local community theater.
Or theatre, if you're fancy.
I'm not fancy.
But you're now singing I'm So're welcome.

Superfrykid and I will be in the local theater's production of Two From Galilee, a Christmas musical telling the story of Mary & Joseph and ending in the birth of Jesus.  We are in the chorus, which is pretty much our speed.  No starring roles, no supporting roles, just the chorus.

This is our first foray into the world of musical theater.  It started as a fluke. Superfrykid enjoys going to the Youth Theatre productions and said she wanted to be in one.  The cost is $200, but I wasn't $200 sure she would like it.  A friend told me that there were auditions being held for the Christmas play at the Apollo and they were taking a few kids for the chorus.  And it was free.  Being a cheapskate, I decided she could wet her feet with the free Christmas play and then go from there.

Little did I know I would have my arm twisted by a woman named Karen I would end up auditioning too.  Several weeks later, we are now just getting ready to leave for our first performance.  It's been quite an adventure and I hope that someday Superfrykid will look back on it and be glad she had a mom who wasn't afraid to make a fool of herself in public.

And.....we can't say "break a leg", because Superfrykid already did that in the middle of our practices.  She fell and fractured her tibia so she's been on crutches practically the whole time.  Tiny Tim doesn't make an appearance in this play, but a limping kid from Nazareth does.

I just pray I don't fall into the pit or walk out with my robe tucked into my shorts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

make new friends but keep the old

Today I have been thinking about friendship.

Partly because some friends of mine and I were talking about things that have happened in our lives and how we could write a book about it.  It got me thinking about all of those things and how we have been there for each other in so many different circumstances.

Partly because I was watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Melissa's friend from her younger days, Amber, confronted Melissa about not contacting her when she had "the cancer".  I quote "the cancer" because that's what she actually said.  I shall now refer to cancer as "the cancer".  Anyway, Melissa and Amber were friends and Amber was in Melissa's wedding and then they grew apart & didn't see each other for many years.  Amber had "the cancer" and was upset that her old friend did not reach out to her.

And then the kicker was Wendy Williams.  (Yes, I watch trash TV.  Sue me.)  Wendy mentioned that she wasn't friends with the people who were in her wedding many years ago.

All of this got me to thinking.....true friendships are very special.  I don't have a ton of friends, but I do have a few true friends.  And I'm so happy to say that all of the girls who were in my wedding almost 20 years ago are still part of my life.  They wore the worst bridesmaids dresses EVER and they are still my friends - that's gotta say something.

Superfrykid modeling the bridesmaid dress my sister wore in my wedding.
Note the shiny satin, puffy sleeves, giant bow,
and the fake pearls hanging in the tasteful back cut out.
We bought them from the JCPenney catalog and had dyed to match shoes from Payless.
Needless to say, there was no Pinterest back in the day.
And nobody said a WORD about the dresses being ugly.  That's true friendship.

The one who saved my life with a breast pump
The one who was part of the infamous lawn mower incident
The one who square danced at Waffle House at 2 am

Me & Superfrydad with the girls.
Note his Home Improvement 90's!

Stirrup pants!

Since I posted those horrible photos of my friends, it's only fair to post this picture of Superfrydad & me.  This was taken at our rehearsal dinner.  I wore jean  shorts and a Tshirt with animals all over it.  And it was at Hoss's.  If anyone from TLC or any other TV network is watching, I could use a do-over....someone surely has a series called "My Super Tacky Wedding" where people who have a horribly tacky wedding and stay married for 20 years get a free do-over wedding.  If you or someone you know has a show like this, call me.