Category Archives: Play Time

Plead for Patience

I am embarrassed that I left you guys hanging here since my last posting.

Long story short, I got my passport.

Long story long, I’m getting to it. I promise. And I hope it will be soon. Life tends to get crazy sometimes over here.

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Finally Happened

I’ve been following a band called Runaway Dorothy online for a couple of years. If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ve surely seen me post about them. The thing is/was, one of the band members, Dave Parnell had a blog at one time and I read it faithfully. I tried to be as supportive as I could when the band was struggling.  Dave is very personable and often answered my comments. I grew to have a great deal of respect for him as well as a very healthy appreciation for the band’s music. Click here for an example of why I fell in love with the music. And here for an album review of The Arc, their first cd.

Recently I was thrilled to find that the band was on tour and was looking for a venue somewhere between Brooklyn, NY and Youngstown, OH. They were interested in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  Of course I was crossing my fingers for Pittsburgh.  And it happened.  They booked a show for this past Friday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh.  I grabbed the first friend who showed an interest in going and we were gonna do it.

I should probly mention, and I hope if Dave reads this, he’s not embarrassed, but I have a healthy, um, crush on his disheveled  boyish charm.  He’s ridiculously talented, both as a performer and a songwriter. His lyrics have depth and meaning and you can tell right off that he’s got heart. If you know me at all, you know I’m big on heart.  If you don’t have heart, I don’t bother much with you at all… He’s also got determination and spirit.  I’m pretty darn sure you could say this about each and every member of the band but I’m guilty of paying a little more attention to Dave.  I’d adopt him. Heck, I’d adopt the whole darn band.

So, before this turns into War and Peace, I’ll tell you… My friend Brooke and I went to the cafe. She’s shy, I’m not. (DUH) There were to be 3 bands performing.  Before RD got there, I’d already talked to the lead guy, Mike from Band #3. Yeah, he had heart. I wish I could remember the name of the band :/ The first band up was called Blue Light Bandits.  They’re from Boston and I liked them a lot.  They had a kind of Jack Johnson sound to them.  And they thought I was in my forties so, yeah… Brownie Points.

Brooke and I were sitting at our table and I happened to look up and saw a messy mop of brown hair atop a plaid shirt (Dave Parnell’s signature style)  walking past. I said, “Dave.” He ambled a couple of more steps.  I repeated his name, a little louder the second time.  He turned and our eyes met. My heart soared. That face… A smile slowly spread across it (his face) and he made his way to our table. He has the most beautiful teeth I’ve ever seen on a guy. I was out of my chair in a second and stopped a foot in front of him. I said, “It’s me, Linda.” I don’t know even now if I had to tell him or not and I’m not sure if I held out my hand or just dove in straight for the hug, but we broke into an easy conversation. He had been heading toward the facilities (after 6 hours in a 15-passenger van) and asked that we wait a minute and said that he wanted to take us back to meet the rest of the band, was that ok?  WAS THAT OK?  Silly Dave.

Soon he came back and motioned us to follow him to a private dining area around behind the bar. On the way I asked if we were going to the Green Room. Haha Linda, you are so funnee.

We walked in to find Brett (Dave’s brother,) Sammy and Evan, as well as their manager Nick and 2 or 3 fan/friends from Pittsburgh. Amazingly polite and perfect gentlemen, they made us feel completely comfortable immediately. Two of them mentioned recognizing me from my comments on their fan page. Their manager, Nick was immediately at my elbow, asking what I had and what I needed.  At first I wasn’t sure what he meant but then I realized he meant band souvenirs, etc. I told him I had the shirt, the buttons, stickers, cd, etc. He asked me to leave my address and that he’d get some more stuff off to me. How cool was that?  So we talked awhile and the first band was up to play so we excused ourselves and went back to our table.

Their performance was even better than I expected.  And later I found out that Dave had been on cold meds for a week. Sheesh.

Third song in, (With You) I was pleasantly surprised to hear Dave say, “This next song I want to dedicate to a friend of a couple years who I’m meeting for the first time tonight,” and he looked up at me. (omg) “This is for Linda, something something…” I couldn’t make out and forgot to ask him what it was. Was awesome anyway.

There was more to the night but I don’t want your eyes to cross.  Among those things:

  • I was appointed House Mother to the band.  Which sounds a whole lot more respectable than Honorary Oldest Groupie, don’t you think?
  • I’ve offered to provide lodging for them next time they’re in the ‘Burgh and they accepted on the condition that PD make them a Spinach Quiche for their breakfast.
  • The crush I have on Dave has spread to the entire group.
  • If you don’t own any Runaway Dorothy music, your library is lacking.  Their new cd coming out, The Wait promises to be something you’ll want to own.  I will.  Here’s a sneak peek at a song from the album called Hurry.
  • You can go on FB and Like the band and get to know them a whole lot better and you’ll be lucky like me 🙂

So, that was my Friday night.  Was a great time and I can’t wait for it to happen again.  Thanks Runaway Dorothy!  Love you guys 🙂

WHIZZ BANG POW

So here I sit, slightly dizzy and trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is July 31, 2010.  The Summer is roughly two-thirds behind us and that just boggles my mind.  I plodded and scraped and shivered through a taxing Winter with it firmly planted in my mind that if I could just survive it there would be a glorious Summer full of fun and sun waiting for me as my reward.

Summer finally arrived and it’s slipping through my fingers like mercury.

We’ve just (barely) survived a couple weeks of sweltering humidity on top of 80-90 degree temperatures that demanded, pretty much, staying inside taking advantage of the AC and constantly whirring fans which totally get on my last nerve. I detest them.  Now today, finally, it seems the humidity has left us and I was actually able to sit comfortably on my porch and enjoy my morning coffee with the birds and flowers.  That is one of my Life’s Favorite Pastimes.

So, God willing, here is how I’m hoping to spend what’s left of my precious Summer~

Next weekend I plan to travel back to my hometown to spend the weekend with my BFF Kate, who’s been my BFF since the first grade. The County Fair will be going on and we will OD ourselves on it as we have together, more years than not since we became BFFs.  Added bonus~ late-night catching up on what’s new with each other and reliving great memories.  Kate can make me laugh like nobody else and there are always tears and sore laugh muscles involved.  Yes, I am looking forward to that like crazy.

Later this month brings our Family Reunion. Not your normal reunion. I think you have to have a normal family in order to have a normal reunion… ; ) But we camp at our family park at my father’s homestead and it lasts for three days for some of us.  And we have such a hella good time that 3 days is usually not enough.  Yeah, I have some truly great relatives.  We have made some awesome memories over the years.  I cherish those times when so many of the people I love so very much are all in one place.

Next month my Godson is getting married. It promises to be a wonderful celebration with family and friends. The added bonus is that it will be something to look forward to instead of mourning the end of the Summer for me.

I found out yesterday that one of my favorite bands of all time, Yeasayer, will be in concert the end of September near me.  I will be able to check off an item on my Bucket List if I can go, and I intend to.

So, being that the first couple months of the Summer have flown by, filled up with a bunch of crap that I’m not even going to go into here, I’m hell-bent on spending what’s left with some fun stuff to make up for the other. Maybe somehow Time will magically slow down and this dizzy feeling will go away.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN :-)

I had thought about putting together a costume for Trick or Treat night and then as the day drew near, I got busy and kind of thought I’d dispense with the idea. I had planned to go thrift shopping and pick up gear to dress as a gypsy. I thought that would be fun and cool. Then I thought, nah.

So tonight was Trick or Treating in our neighborhood from 6pm to 9pm. Around 4:00 I decided to dress for the occasion but had no ideas about what to wear. I thought doing a zombie face would be easy and I could wear just about anything. So I started digging through the Halloween box, pulled out a couple of things and the rest I found in the back of my closet. Talk about a throw-together deal. I’m not sure what I was other than a zombie. I had a plastic top hat on at first and kind of looked like an antique funeral director. But the hat was a cheapie and PD said it looked dumb.

I put my Halloween pictures in my Flickr down there on the right instead of posting them all here. Please feel free to comment on them.

I was disappointed that we didn’t have a ton of trick-or-treaters this year but we did have fun with the ones who came. And we actually had left-over candy. Which will come in very handy next week when my cigarette ration will be down to 9 a day.

Ok, I’m really tired and can’t get warm from being out in the cold.  Although it wasn’t really cold at all.

I guess I better try and find a picture of the rest of my “costume” before I sign off.  This is the best I can do:  (Sorry it’s “Blur City.” )

EPIC Part Three

I know this post is taking forever but I want it to be RIGHT because you know, the band is going to come across this and read it and see what a dedicated fan I am and invite me to go on the road with them. I’m packed already so it’s just a matter of time.

Next to exit the van was Daren Taylor, the drummer. He was as friendly and gregarious as could be. He seemed excited to take his turn in front of the camera. He was very talkative and genuine and fun. With beautiful warm brown eyes.  I’d read that Airborne totally appreciates their fans and Daren surely was a great example of that. I’d been apologetic for taking up their “down” time, but he truly made me feel like he had nothing better to do than talk with us. After Michael took our picture, he offered to pose with Michael too.

While I was talking to Daren, I became aware of a presence above me and to the left on the balcony where the box office door was situated. Something was said and Steven looked up and answered. When I turned my head I found myself looking straight up into the face of THE Mikel Jollet. I have to tell you, not many things in my life have rocked my world quite to that extent. If I recall, I had just finished making the comment that I hadn’t been so excited since seeing U2 perform in 1985. Well, I never thought I would/could say this but that paled in comparison. I wasn’t prepared for what I felt and hadn’t even realized the respect and admiration that I’d for this man. There he was, in all his glory, casually leaning on the wrought iron railing like it was the most ordinary day in his life while mine was doing somersaults and back flips. Michael described my reaction as much like the little old lady in The Wedding Singer when Adam Sandler sampled her meatballs. (Thanks, Mike) I don’t exactly know the definition of starstruck but I went deaf and dumb. (Ok, dumber.) Up to that point I was comfortable for the most part but that quickly deteriorated into not-too-comfortably numb. I was speechless for a time. When not making a fool of myself became the utmost thought in my head, I gathered my wits about me and started to set about making at least a pleasant impression.

I don’t think I can tell you a single thing I said to him or what he answered back. All I know is that one minute he was up on the balcony and the next thing I knew he was at my side. He’d put sunglasses on. I do remember saying, “I don’t suppose you’d take those off?” while waiting for the picture to snap. I could tell he was trying to be serious when he said, “nope” and I think I said “That’s ok, neither would Bono.” He kind of relaxed then and chuckled. He signed my Spin “So lovely to meet you” and excused himself, he was going for a run.

It didn’t occur to me until I arrived home that I’d neglected to ask Daren to sign the magazine. I was so disappointed, and you’ll see why later. But now I think that I was so enthralled with Mikel that it went straight out of my head. My new quest in life is to track Daren down and get that signature.

I must go to bed. Thanks for reading.

EPIC… Part Two

Please let me say this before I continue with my “story” …

If you’ve been reading here long and/or you know me AT ALL, you know that I take Music very seriously. It’s as much a part of my life as eating and sleeping. It’s my drug, pretty much. When I’m sad or stressed or mad or lonely or lost or confused or anxious or if I’m happy and relaxing, there is a soundtrack soothing me or inspiring me. I’m a total junkie in that respect. And I can never get enough. I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being a music snob. If a piece of music doesn’t move me in some respect, I discard it like a holey sock. There is just too much good stuff out there that I need to hear to waste my time listening to anything that doesn’t meet my criteria. Sometimes I think I spent too much of my life listening to Top Forties radio and I missed way too much and now I’ll never catch up.

Y’all know that I had a rough summer, working those long hours on too little sleep and watching my body rebel over and over again. I can honestly say that my music kept me going. Countless times I found myself popping those ear buds in and closing my eyes and letting words and melodies fill me up, pushing out the bad stuff.

It just so happened that during that time I stumbled upon the song Sometime Around Midnight by Airborne Toxic Event. I listened to that song over and over and over. By all rights, I should be sick to death of it. When it became ingrained in me, I began to need more of the same. Enter Wishing Well and Gasoline. And then Does This Mean You’re Moving On? It was right about this time that I found that the band was going to be in Pittsburgh and quickly made up my mind that NOTHING in this world was keeping me from being there. I was addicted and nothing was going to satisfy my jones except seeing them in person. I had to see for myself that there really existed a living, breathing band who could actually produce those sounds that my ears craved. Call it survival, call it medicine. Whatever. The music came to me when I needed it and it got me through. I’m grateful for that.

Ok, enough baring my soul for the entire universe for one day. Why do none of you even attempt to stop me before I publish every single, personal secret part of myself?. You won’t be happy until I’m nothing more than a spent, empty shell. Will you???!!! Parasites.

… So then, after Noah graciously signed my Spin, as if acting in a well-choreographed scene from a movie set, on cue, another figure miraculously emerged from the van. This; a tall, slender handsome vision in a black T-shirt proclaiming “Welcome back to your life.” (the shirt, not the dude…) Kind eyes, easy smile, excruciatingly long legs and a really nice mop of black, spiky hair. This would be Steven Chen, guitar and keyboard player. I had begun to feel like I was standing before a gourmet buffet and Noah was just the appetizer.

There was something about Steven that demanded respect but not the stuffy kind. His manner was warm and polite. When asked to pose for a picture, before I could blink he was at my side and I think you can tell by my expression that I was starting to wonder if I was imagining the whole scenario.

Steven neatly wrote Linda- Thanks so much for coming to the show! Steven in my Spin and I was a happy girl. (Incidentally, Noah wrote: Hell! YEA!!! NOAH) 🙂

Ok, that’s all for today. I promise to get to the actual show before you all get eyestrain and wind-blown from all this hot air. But boy howdy, I’m still smiling all over and tomorrow will be a week since this all went down. 😀

THE EPIC BEGINS… Part One

So this past Tuesday night, Michael and I met at the Mills, had a quick dinner and embarked on our adventure. (In case I forgot to mention, the night was my birthday gift to him. He’d heard me playing Airborne music and totally liked some of their songs.) Yeah, at first I thought we were just going to hear a good band or three play at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh. I had never been there and we planned it so we had extra time to account for either or both rush hour traffic and the possibility probability of my getting lost.

So we arrived at Mr. Smalls (with no problem) about 45 mins. before the box office was to open at 7pm. Show started at 8. We were going to see Electric Touch, Airborne Toxic Event and The Fratellis. Parking was a cinch, not even a block away from the place and not even a meter to feed.

I was starting to get the feeling that it would be a great night. I wasn’t even close. Usually when I am involved, Murphy’s Law kicks in and you just never know what you’ll get into. So when we got that far without a hitch, the anticipation was starting to take over. Accompanied by the nagging little voice in the back of my head, saying don’t get your hopes up too high, lest you be disappointed. I never used to be a pessimist, but lately…

I started looking around for the box office door. Mr. Smalls is an old church, renovated into an entertainment complex of sorts, complete with a skating rink-like thing. But basically on the outside it looks just like an old church with a marquee out front. Also there was a huge unmarked tour bus pulling a utility trailer parked out front. (Note to self: Keep an eye out for whomever disembarks…)

When I did spot a white door around the side of the church and up the hill a bit, we started walking toward it. It was situated up some stairs on a balcony that looked to be on maybe the second or third floor. As we got closer, I noticed a sign on the door, posting the hours of business and they didn’t coincide with my plan. I’d pre-ordered tickets and according to the sign, I wouldn’t be picking them up there. There happened to be a guy getting out a small white van wearing skinny black jeans and a wife-beater with sunglasses and an ID tag hanging around his neck. I approached him, excused myself and inquired as to whether he could tell me if there was another box office door that might be open. He replied, “Hey, hi,” smiled, and apologized that he couldn’t help me, as with he was “just with the band” and then corrected himself, saying “Or rather in the band.”

As the last thing I expected was to meet up with a member of Airborne Toxic Event, I didn’t discount the possibility that he might be a member of Electric Touch, which would have been a kicker in itself. But Michael said quietly to me, “Isn’t he in the band?” meaning ATE. It was then that I realized with an undue amount of adrenaline suddenly cursing through my veins that I was standing, face to face with Noah, the bass player for ATE. I think maybe he removed his sunglasses but you know how my memory is. Relax, Linda, and pleasepleaseplease don’t say anything stupid.

We made small talk for a bit and I wish I could remember what we talked about. Of course I had, in my purse, my “supplies” which consisted of my camera and current copy of Spin magazine containing an article about ATE. I asked if he would mind terribly posing for a picture (Sure, not a problem) so I handed the camera to Michael (God bless him) and stood beside Noah, totally elated when he put his arm around me and mugged for the pic. Having Noah’s arm around me is going to go on my list of experiences I want to relive in the moments before I die, incidentally (see Flashes page over there on the right.) Then, tentatively and so as not to appear as a 14-year-old star-struck, giddy groupie (which I truly must be, just under the surface) I asked if he would mind signing my Spin. He seemed more than happy to and I was soaring.

I have to say that there are not many experiences in life more pleasant than meeting a blindingly handsome bass player with a terrific personality and a quick easy smile, who’s genuinely cordial and intelligent AND loaded with talent and charisma. Truly. Enough to make me feel that Life is Truly Good and Serendipity Totally Rocks. I mean, what were the chances? Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

I’m going to make this Part One since I’m anti-long, long posts. Stay tuned.

TEASER

Mikel Jollet (Airborne Toxic Event) and a Fan 9/2/08

Mikel Jollet and a Fan 9/2/08

I know, I told you you’d have to wait until probly after the weekend, but I just couldn’t wait to see what this would look like here.

Story soon, I promise. In installments, probly.

I’M A GROUPIE

Greek to Me – Confessions of an Altared Boy

By virtue of my tendencies toward obsessivity, it seems not out of the realm of possibility that I find myself, once again addicted to a certain behavior. (Not unlike my sister-of-another-mother, Piglet…) That behavior, of course, being the uncontrollable urge to scour YouTube for the sole purpose of enriching and embellishing my life and penchant for being entertained.

I think you will find this video, the first in a series of four, to be awesome. The actor’s name is Michael Raysses. His delivery and the quality of the material is as engrossing as it is humorous. Michael relates the story of how the role of altar boy during his Greek Orthodox up-bringing prepared him for later roles in the theater. His actual first role was that of a piglet in a barnyard production in Church/School. Give it a watch/listen.  Michael is a writer/actor/National Public Radio commentator who lives in Los Angeles. You can find some of his other work here. And here. He’s also a writer for Vision Magazine.

I’m a fan. But “Groupie” sounds so much more funner. 😉

(Posted with permission by Michael Raysses, “group-er” [as opposed to “group-ee“])

FEEL LIKE A QUIZ?

I was feeling crazy and this looked like fun. I give it a C-minus for accuracy… What do you think? I’m thinking that maybe this was me at one time, but sounds like too much work now!