Monday, March 15, 2010

2010 - So far, so awesome

Dear 2010, so far? You're pretty effing awesome. First off, there was the Weekend of Wilco.
Topped off by seeing my college crush. (Still hot, btw.)
Then I saw John Mayer in concert.
And Saturday in Eau Claire at a chinese restaurant, who did I spy scooping some delicious delights? None other than one of my frequent go-to daydream boys, Justin Vernon, of Bon Iver.
I freaked out. I immediately texted Kristen: OMG! I THINK I SEE JUSTIN V!!!
Kristen: Where the f**k are you?
Me: (Chinese Name) in Eau Claire! I'm shaking! I need to go snoop and make sure!
Kristen: Omg omg omg omg! Go hump his leg!
But I didn't. I sat in my seat telling myself it would be rude to go interrupt his meal to tell him I would love to make beautiful music with him. In bed, of course. I can't play instruments or sing.
So we (me, my sister and niece) got up to leave, and there he was. I swiftly walked through the exit and sat next to the wishing pond, wishing for courage. My sister went back and told him her sister was too chicken to tell him how much she liked his music. He was funny. I won't tell you what he said because I'd like to keep some part of it private. But it was pretty hilarious. And she shook his hand and said he smiled the whole time.
Damn me and my crippling shyness.
Pretty sure that's one of his brothers next to him. And look, JV's got ice cream with sprinkles. Awwww. Do me now.
Also, I texted Kristen that I'm going to see Bret Michaels in concert Thursday night. (My friend is a big fan; I'm keeping her company.)
Me: Good. I'm free to chase after JV then.
OOOOHH! And if you're in the market for new music, Anais Mitchell's "Hadestown" is un-freaking-believable. Honestly, though it was just released, it has already jumped to the top five albums I've ever heard. It features vocals by Justin Vernon, Greg Brown, Ani DiFranco and more.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Battle Studies

Um... I may have mentioned in passing that I like John Mayer? Right. It's possible that it's deeper than that.
Anyway, my co-worker Julie and I went to see him in concert Tuesday night in Minneapolis, MN. I saw him in 2007 in Madison, blog account of it here, and it was about 100 times better this time around. I mean, the music was just as excellent, but this time he interacted more, used the whole stage, and there was a jumbo screen so even those of us at the very back could see him.
Here are my fave and best pics I got.

Steve Jordan! I was super excited that he was the drummer at this concert. He's part of the John Mayer Trio. He's phenomenal.

Really fun concert, despite seat confusion. We were in the right row and seat, wrong section. Hot boy in argyle sweater was very polite and sweet about it, though. Then when we got to the right section, some snotty girls were in our seats and were all, "Kkeh. (sound of disgust) Can't you just sit over there?"
Fave songs played: "Gravity," "Vultures," "Belief," "Why Georgia." He has a really cool way of blending or doing a mash-up of different songs. (Think "Glee." Back on in April!)
For now, there are no other concerts on the horizon. Boo! But don't cry for me, Argentina. The truth is there will be music, and I will find it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Best. Weekend. Ever!

I've had to take a full week to recuperate from the awesomeness that is Wilco.

On Feb. 19, 2010, Kristen and I attended the Wilco concert at the DECC in Duluth. It was our third time seeing them, and front-row seats assured us maximum exposure. Not that we flashed the band (although I'm sure we thought of it), but we could see every member of the band, and they saw us, too.

Look at us. A pair of Wilco-lovin' fools.

Here's my future husband, the already-married, Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy. He kept looking at me while singing and smiled at me many times. It was swoon-tastic. At first I thought I was imagining things until Kristen leaned over and said "Jeff Tweedy keeps looking at you!" And a little later, the woman on the other side of me leaned over and said the same thing.

The show was amazing. They always put on a spectactular performance, but with our seats, it really felt like a private concert just for us. I blocked out everyone else.

Until some drunk d-bag moved from the back/side of the seats and stood in front of me. And by in front of me, I mean practically on me. He refused to move even after I, Kristen and a girl in the row behind me told him to leave. So I looked at Jeff Tweedy and shrugged hopelessly. Without breaking from singing, he pointed at the d-bag, then pointed to leave. Mother. Effing. Awesome!

Wilco played an excellent show. They opened with "Wilco (The Song)" off last year's Wilco (The Album). I ♥ funny musicians. Other songs I'd been craving and were played include: "Via Chicago" (which Kristen & I requested on their official Web site), "Heavy Metal Drummer," "A Shot in the Arm," "Impossible Germany" and "Jesus, Etc."

At one point the crowd was supposed to clap along to the beat of the drums, but we were all way off. The pianist tried getting us back on track, but it was difficult. Kristen and I made asses of ourselves trying to get the real beat, and these two guys (directly in front of us!) laughed at us.

This is pretty much my favorite picture I took at the concert. It's already framed and sitting on my bedroom end table next to a framed art print of a blue mix tape labeled "Baby, please don't go."

Speaking of pictures... AAAAHHHH! Jeff Tweedy jumped down in front of my camera and held this pose for me until I gave him the thumbs up that I got it. Unfortunately, bad zoom + floor buckling due to jumping fans = blurry photo. But I still have the experience. The delicious, sexy Tweedy experience.

After the concert, Kristen and I saw the drummer from Bon Iver. K-Lo spotted him and shook his hand. I couldn't hear what was happening, so I just thought he was some hot guy she knew. After we walked away and she told me who he was, I toppled over into the seats in amazement and shock and slight exasperation that she hadn't told me in time so that *I* could intro myself.
By the way, the opening band was Califone, and we approve'd! Kristen bought their CD at Electric Fetus from a hot, sweater-wearing boy, and I'm listening to an older CD of theirs from the library. Good stuff!
We also purchased gig posters made specifically for the Duluth concert, and I'll post a pic once I get the mat and frame altogether.
Memorable K-Lo quotes from the concert: "What if I pee my pants? Ah, I'll just keep rockin'!"
"I dance like Elaine Benes."
"I think Wilco was equally entertained by us tonight."
"I want to have sex with this concert."
Me, too, K-Lo. Me, too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Children are the future? We're screwed.

At the library:

Me: Okay, your movies are due back in one week. So next Wednesday.

Girl: What's a week?

Me: Do you know the days of the week?

Girl: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Me: And what day is today?

Girl: Thursday?

Me: No. It's Wednesday. So you'll bring the movies back next Wednesday. One week.

Girl: Okay!

Her Older Brother: So, when are these due?

Me: *head slams down on counter*

Honestly. If you're old enough to check out books and movies, old enough to use the computer, and old enough to walk all the way to the library by yourself, I'm pretty sure you can figure out what a week means.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fifth annual book list

Five-year anniversary already! I read more books in 2009 than I did in 2008, but some of them are repeats as I got ready to continue a series or watch the movie. Titles in bold are ones that I'd definitely recommend.

1) The Heretic's Daughter, by Kathleen Kent
2) City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
3) City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare
4) A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
5) The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling
6) Once Were Cops, by Ken Bruen
7) Rebel Angels, by Libba Bray
8) Un Lun Dun, by China Mieville
9) The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray
10) Sucks to be Me, by Kimberly Pauley
11) Time of my Life, by Allison Winn Scotch
12) Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs
13) The Gospel According to the Son, by Norman Mailer
14) Different Seasons, by Stephen King
15) The Night Villa, by Carol Goodman
16) City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare
17) The Reader, by Bernard Schlink
18) The Curious Incidentof the Dog in the Night-time, byMark Haddon
19)The Girl With No Shadow, by Joanne Harris
20) Lonely Werewolf Girl, by Martin Millar (HORRIBLE!)
21) The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker
22) The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan (Fantastic YA zombie book)
23) Mouthing the Words, by Camilla Gibb
24) The House of Gentle Men, by Kathy Hepinstall
25) Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris
26) In the Dark, by Brian Freeman
27) Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, by Brad Gooch
28) The Story Sisters, by Alice Hoffman
29) When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris (Dear David, where have you been all my life?)
30) Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman
31) Darling Jim, by Christian Moerk (Deliciously creepy!)
32) Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen (Just before Gram went to nursing home; was the right book at the right time.)
33) Jane Austen Ruined My Life, by Beth Pattillo
34) Undead and Unwelcome, by MaryJanice Davidson
35) The Lost Hours, by Karen White (Not really great, but it fit my needs at the time.)
36) One Hot Mess, by Lois Greiman
37) Parasyte 1, by Hitosi Iwaaki
38) Parasyte 2, by Hitosi Iwaaki
39) Parasyte 3, by Hitosi Iwaaki
40) How to Buy a Love of Reading, by Tanya Egan Gibson (I described this as Gossip Girl making out with F. Scott Fitzgerald.)
41) The Fate of Katherine Carr, by Thomas H. Cook
42) Gone, by Michael Grant (Decent YA book)
43) Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
44) Wicked Game, by Jeri Ready-Smith
45) Glucose Revolution, by Jennie Brand-Miller
46) Glitter Train (journal)
47) Twenties Girl, by Sophie KInsella
48) Writer's Digest Short Story Competition Collection (Boo! Terrible stories, numerous errors.)
49) The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (LOVED!)
50) Death Perception, by Victoria Laurie
51) Manuscript by member of writers group--can't divulge info, but it's good
52) The Birthing House, by Christopher Ransom (Mega scary!!!)
53) Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater (Miss the angst of Twilight but not the bad writing? Try Shiver!)
54) Half-Minute Horrors, edited by Susan Rich
55) New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer (to get ready for the movie)
56) Gone Tomorrow, by P.F. Kluge (So many typos & errors that I could hardly get through it.)
57) Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain
58) Grave Secret, by Charlaine Harris
59) Sweetheart, by Chelsea Cain
60) Evil at Heart, by Chelsea Cain
61) Posed for Murder, by Meredith Cole (Good concept, but the writing isn't engaging at all.)
62) Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See (Most depressing book ever!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Best baby dream in human history

Facebook convo worth sharing (at least, I find it funny; therefore, worth sharing):

Amanda, from Critical Edition blog: I had a dream last night that I was watching a vampire movie starring Bea Arthur and Prince. I remember liking it. A lot. Too bad I had to get up so early to go to work - I missed the final battle between good (Prince) and evil (Bea).

Me: I, on the other hand, dreamed about watching dinosaurs hatch from their wee dino eggs. And they looked at me and said "Mama!" And I replied, "Oh, hell no!"

Amanda: If our dreams were to have a baby in a lab somewhere, that baby dream would be the best dream in human history.
Before they annoyed the crap out of me by asking nonstop questions, these kids in the library today cracked me up. They were doing research on the Titanic for school.

Kid 1: *excited* Hey! It says that the Titanic was owned by the British shipping company White Star Line!
Kid 2: I know. I know.
Kid 1: *mocking* I know.

Later, they disagreed about how long it took the ship to sink.
Kid 1: It sank in two hours and forty minutes.
Kid 2: No, it didn't. The movie said (blah blah blah...I forget what he said exactly).
Kid 1: Kid 2, the movie is Rated R.
Kid 2: Nuh-uh.
Kid 1: It is, too! Cuz of the murders!
Kid 2: What murders?
Kid 3: Dude. All the murders. A bunch of people died in that movie.
Kid 2: Well, I know that, but it wasn't from murder.
Kid 1: Yes, it was!
Kid 2: Who got murdered?
Kid 3: That guy was shooting. And someone committed suicide.
Kid 2: *looks skeptical*

Kid 1: I took a lot of notes already!
Kid 2: Not as much as me.

I told Kristen that this is exactly what our conversations would be like if we were 10-year-old boys. Or 30/31-year-old us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And the wanting comes in waves...

Friday night, I got to see a pretty awesome concert in the Cities with Kristen and Kate. Tell me, have you ever heard of The Decemberists? Yes, I *am* looking smug right about now.

Opening act was Laura Veirs. Kristen's been a big fan for years now, but I only knew a couple of songs. Yay for me, Ms. Veirs sang one of them: "Galaxies."

Unlucky for all of us, some douche in the row behind us kept talking through her first few songs. Not a whisper to the person next to him, but full-out, normal voice or louder. Despite several of us turning around and glaring, and Kristen shushing him once, he continued on. What can a girl do? Well, if you're me, you turn around and stare him down, then once you know you have his attention, loudly and slowly say, "SHUT. UP." Oh, sure, his face will turn red and he'll mumble back, "YOU shut up," but it won't affect you. Because he'll then get up with his buddy and leave for the next 30 minutes and you'll have your fellow concert-goers cheer you on. So, really, it's worth it.
Also? We met Laura Veirs after the concert and got her CD autographed. Check out July Flame; it's gorgeous AND you can get two free tracks! Plus, one song is adapted from an Arthur Rimbaud poem. Be still, my heart!

Then the Decemberists took stage. Oh, wait. I guess technically they took the stage while Laura Veirs sang, inundating her band with remote control vehicles. So the second time they took the stage, they played the entire tracklist of "Hazards of Love." Pretty sweet, ya'll.

That chick on the far left of the picture, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, is phenomenal. She is a freaking powerhouse! I have a bit of a girl crush on her now. (Don't worry, Neko Case; you're still my No. 1 gal!) During encores, she sang Heart's "Crazy on You." Gave me goosebumps!

And we can't forget about Colin Meloy.

Delish! And he came down from the stage and walked through the audience, stopping at our aisle! He was about seven people away from me!

Chick on the right here? I don't know her name; I called her Ghost of Christmas Past. She creeped me out with her hippy dancing. *sigh* Fine. Her voice *was* incredible. I'll give her that.

Great show, though. Really a lot of fun! Except when douche came back to his seat and started playing the air mandolin. What a maroon.

Quote of the night
Kate, Kristen and I were walking to the concert venue, passing by The Orpheum, which was putting on a production of 101 Dalmations (it said so in bright lights). A tent was set up outside to house the dogs when not in use. They suddenly all started barking. Kristen got a deeply sad look on her face as she looked around to spot where the noise was coming from.
Kristen: Ooohhhh! Is someone having a dog fight?

No, Kate and I have not let her live it down. And neither should you.