Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Basking In The Glory Of My Social Awkwardness

I don't know if anyone has ever noticed this or not, but I'm one of those fabulously awkward people.
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Outsiders (and maybe even some insiders) observing my life would probably blame the fact that I was homeschooled from second grade through 74% of my college career. I, however, know that I was just destined to be "that weird girl" from the off. Looking back on my brief public school career, that was certainly true (they used to laugh at my saddle oxfords, and tell me that the songs I knew weren't "real" [probably because their parents didn't listen to the same things mine did]). By the end of those wretched years, I had become the leader of all of the other weird kids, who seemed to genuinely believe they would miss me during the next school year.
Fast forward a few Presidential administrations, and I am now a "college girl". Does it matter that I seem to know the schedule better than the teacher? That I know the material better than the others in the class? Personally, I would say yes; but then, there's that beautiful awkwardness, glimmering like sunset on the ocean.
I have no idea why, but that awkwardness seems to be about 50% bigger in that class than in any other social situation in my entire life, ever; in particular, with one of my classmates.
Would you like to hear about it? 'Cause it's really hilarious.
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Reginald Kitty is not amused.

Earlier this semester, I had to make up an exam (you know, 'cause we've been gone quite a lot in the last couple of months). The Classmate also had to make it up, so we took the exam together. As he professed his nervousness, I tried to tell him to have confidence in himself. Unfortunately, I've been dealing with some vocal issues lately; what should have turned out as a normal phrase -- "you have to have confidence in yourself" -- turned into "you have to have con--"

That got some weird looks.

The next day, Classmate walked by my desk. After a brief conversation, he placed his hand palm up in front of me. What did I end up doing? Turning his hand over, and shaking it.
I still don't know whether he wanted a "low-five", or some other salutation I don't understand. His response to this? "OK, see ya."

I was fine with all of these exchanges. I knew my strangeness was very evident to everybody (considering I sit at the very front, in the middle, and have massive amounts of frizzy hair; really, my hair rivals Yoko's on the Grapefruit cover). It probably doesn't help that I don't own a solid-colored shirt, and wear vintage rhinestone cat glasses (generally two pair, sometimes at the same time), and I am more than fine with that. I sincerely do not care what they think of me, so I don't fret about stupid little things like my socially backward anachronism mind.
Until the social niceties today.
A group of students were gathered at the front of the room, sorting out some graded papers. Classmate continued to call my name, handing me each paper as he found it.
"Thank you, Alfred (names changed to protect the poor guy)."
This happened three times, and I thought nothing of it. Until he said "my name is Frank, not Alfred".
And that's when I felt my eyes grow to saucer-like proportions, my pulse quickened, and I just kind of froze on the spot.
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I made my apologies, and admitted how terrible I am with names and faces. He smiled and said he understood.
But that wasn't enough for my little "Social Emergency Button". Oh no. It wasn't.
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Standing right next to me was the real Alfred. Before I could stop myself, I heard my tiny little voice squeaking out "wait, you're Alfred, aren't you?"
"Yeah," he said, apparently enjoying my mix-up.
Well, he must have done, because he moved from his usual seat in the very back of the room to the empty desk behind me, and proceeded to converse with me at opportune times.
Because that didn't add to the awkwardness. Not at all.

I now have two wishes: that neither of these people ever, ever find this blog; and that the real Alfred could see past my hair.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

My Zimmer Frame Is Double Parked

It's official: I am starting to feel old.
Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not old.
That doesn't mean I don't feel old, though.
For example, today, while watching a television show, a young girl -- aged about sixteen, judging by the fact that she was driving -- admitted that she didn't know what a Walkman was.
A Walkman.
Walkman.

No, Roy. She is NOT from the past.

How can I be four years older than her, and have worn out three of those in my lifetime? How is that possible? What is this madness? Does she know what a portable CD player is? A boombox? Why am I using so damn many questions?
Perhaps on any other day, this wouldn't have bothered me in quite the same way.
Not today.
Today is my twentieth birthday.
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I swear, it never occurred to me that people would be younger than I am. In that same way that, until I was fourteen, I didn't quite understand that you actually had to do something with your life before you were married, I never thought active people could be younger than I am/was.
This is a flaw on my part.
Now, how do I handle this?
My first inclination was to put on my Writing Playlist (supplemented with late-90's, early-00's drivel, just to add fuel to the fire). With my beloved Mr. Higgenson in my ears, though, things seem a tad bit better.
This does not fix the problem.
What fixes the problem?
More Tom Higgenson.
But what after that?
And then, the lightbulb went off.
This is not your problem. It's their's.
All this means is that those "youngsters" still have all of that bollocks to sort through. "Remember YOU at sixteen?" I said to myself. Not to bring down the mood or anything, but I was a mental mess, in my own Sliding Scale of Suck way. Everything I had built my world on, and everything I believed simply crumbled like a crushed cookie beneath me. (Yes, my teenaged battle wasn't the journey to find myself, but to discover who others were. Sue me, I've never been conventional.) But isn't that the point? That you've got that finite set of years to finish being a total twit, so that you can start sorting out the important stuff? You know, like, the real-life, boring stuff?
Yes.
That's exactly what it is.
Sort all of that out then, kids. Go out there and be stupid, 'cause one of these days, it'll hit you that somewhere, your future is wandering around on this planet -- chances are, just as clumsily as you (for me, this was at sixteen, after a visit to Camp Pendleton). It'll occur to you that the odds of mortgage/car payment/parenthood/pension plans/white picket fence-dom within the next ten years are so high that you'll wonder why in hell you worried about that stupid two page essay you slapped together on global warming, or how driving scares the holy living hell out of you. 'Cause when that realization hits you, you WILL want to buckle yourself in, identify the emergency exits, and keep all limbs inside the vehicle. Whatever you are doing, you feel like it's contributing to your future.
So go ahead, kids. Figure that out.
I'll be here, trying to sort out which buckles click together, where the emergency exits are, and how to keep my limbs from getting whacked off (I feel I will need them in the future).
In the meantime, my zimmer frame is double parked... right next to my Walkman.
I'll be that girl also doesn't realize that this sound used to mean THE INTERNET.


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Reginald Kitty is not amused.

Here, have a song. It seems appropriate.


By the way, go get this. It's free!










You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tom Higgenson Likes My Shirt

OK, so this just happened.
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"That's a nice shirt you've got there," said one of my favorite songwriters of all time.
"Well, thank you very much," I replied, my fangirl senses praying that I didn't make a total fool of myself. "Y'all put on a great show tonight, thanks for coming out."
My mother asked me to turn around for a picture, I thanked Mr. Higgenson, and was shuffled down the line.
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I don't know how I lucked out and got three autographs, two from the entire band. Photographs will follow when I've gotten everything framed.

In the meantime, here's the rest of the story.

At first, I thought the entire evening was going to be ruined. I have discovered another thing I do not like to share (in addition to my computer, and my chair): my camera. Though it isn't a professional camera, it was still confiscated. I'm still not sure why. This situation took thirty minutes to deal with, which nearly made us late for the opening acts (and is why the above photograph is so fuzzy: cell phones!).
Of course, the first opening act was one I could have lived without (I think I've mentioned that girl singers give me the creeps). I don't even remember her name, so we'll just skip that bit.
It was only when The Downtown Fiction (yes, I familiarized myself before the show) came on did I notice that the sound system wasn't working. Without being able to hear the lead singer, I just enjoyed the fact that musicians are the only people who can get away with wearing skin-tight, bright red trousers. I was also very impressed when their lead used his mic stand to play slide guitar (on an acrylic body, no less).
Afterward, I enjoyed watching John Gomez (from The Summer Set) try to fix the sound issues.
It wasn't until the Plain White T's took the stage that I heard just how very far off the sound was; Tom Higgenson does not sound like a chipmunk. They fought hard against the problem throughout the show, with vocals fading in and out. The issue came to a head during "Hey There, Delilah", when the acoustic guitar simply faded out; Mr. Higgenson handled it like a pro, improvising while he waited for a roadie to get him another instrument.
Just before the final number, he mentioned that anyone who bought Wonders Of The Younger at the merch table in the lobby would get a wristband for a fan signing. I didn't care that I'd already bought the album, I headed (back) to the merch table, mowing down all who stood in my way.
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And, of course, trying to come up with something to say with the ten seconds I was guaranteed. Again, fangirl prayers. I had to make sure I didn't do this...
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Overall, though, it was a great night. I don't often get to go to a good concert, and this one qualifies as just that. It certainly contributes to the concert bug; anybody still Christmas shopping for me can buy tickets for All Time Low's Dallas show via their website.

The Two Weeks Nightmare has finally been broken!
Hooray!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Leaf Peeping With Bonzo And The Antelope

We went for a little Sunday drive yesterday. Of course, if you've read some of my other posts about Sunday drives, you'll notice we have a tendency to go a little far from home.
Yesterday, we packed up and headed to Red River, New Mexico; our mission was to look at the fall color, and maybe see the remnants of a snowstorm they had a couple of days ago.
Imagine our surprise when we got there, and the ground was still covered in the white stuff!

Highlights included:

* When the miners blew a very loud horn. It was, indeed, very loud. Some naughty words were said, which made it all the more fun, if you ask me.

* Oktoberfest! We had funnel cake.

* Snow! We also got snowed on, which you may or may not be able to see in the photographs (see the slideshow).

* Getting stuck in a traffic jam with an antelope. He was running right down the middle of the lane, for no apparent reason. He took a left near Albuquerque.



It was a lovely day out!

And now, for another episode of "My Mother Is Adorable".
Have I ever mentioned I like Andy Burrows? Have I ever mentioned that I like free music downloads? Did you know you can get quite the bundle of free stuff from Andy Burrows? (If you like free downloads, too, you can get an I Am Arrows Demo EP, and his newest single.)
Being as I get the Andy Burrows/I Am Arrows Facebook updates (yes, I only use Facebook to keep up with bands, not family members. If you think that's odd, you ought to see how I use Twitter), I was excited to see that the announcement we were teased about on Friday was another new project, aptly titled Smith & Burrows; but the best part was the FREE DOWNLOAD! All you have to do is "like" their page, and boom, free stuff! So, that's exactly what I did. With little more than the intention of listening to this newest morsel later on, I went about my day as normal.
A little while later, my mother asked if I could look and see if Facebook showed that she liked Beatles Radio 1.
This is kind of how the conversation went:

Mother: See if it's there.

Me: I just hate that they show what you've liked.

Mother: I know. This morning, I saw that you liked Bonzo and Whatever. Some dudes were wearing angel wings. I just shook my head. It's kind of weird.


This is what she was talking about.
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All I did was get something free, man! (That reminds me, I should listen to that tonight. I don't know if it's any good yet!)
And now I know why Moss was right.

Hooray For Paul And Nancy!

Yesterday, October 9th, two of the loveliest people on God's green earth were married.
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If you have ever seen the two of them interact in person (I have, but I'm kind of creepy that way), you know that this one is the real deal.
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As one blogger put it, "I approve of their happiness".

And I've already saved more pictures from this wedding to my computer than will probably ever be taken at my own (but I'm kind of creepy that way).
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Big congratulations to Paul and Nancy! We love you both!
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birthday Boys!

October 9th is a holiday in our house. No, not because of Leif Erikson Day.
It's Johnny's birthday!
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Let's also remember that it's Sean's birthday, too; that fact so often goes unmentioned.
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Read the article, it's fascinating.

Over the last couple of years, we've celebrated different aspects of John's life and career -- and I'm particularly proud of last year's post -- to the point where I'm not sure what to say. There's only so much the Internet can do when trying to honor someone like John. If you're looking for something to do today, have a look at some of the happenings.

* Yoko will be lighting the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland at three o'clock Central Time. She is encouraging that wishes be sent through the appropriate social networking channels, et al, if anyone cares to participate. Be sure to check out the live feed, too; purty colors in the sky, and the Tower lit up makes for a pretty sight.

* Yoko has also arranged for a special art exhibition in New York City this weekend. I've been to a couple of exhibitions of the lithograph collection, and it was a glorious experience each time. Even if you can't go to a showing in person, check out some of John's work. My favorite is "Jock and Yono".
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* Breakfast With The Beatles will be in front of Capitol Records, where John's star on the Walk of Fame is located, for a cake cutting and fan pot-luck. Not sure how that's gunna work out, but be sure to tune in for that. In general, it'll just be a big ol' party out on Hollywood and Vine.

So what if this party was forty years ago, it's still a party!

* Remember those awesometastic-magic-gear-cool-awesomesome remasters that came out last year? Remember the Box of Vision? If you, like me, decided that it was too expensive then, it's currently on Birthday Sale. If you've ever looked at a Box of Vision, you'll want one; not only does it have every album's original artwork/booklets/what-have-you, but they've included some new liner notes and essays in a fab LP sized book. I'm getting one as a birthday present to myself (October babies!). Opinion within the Beatle community seems to be that such a sale shouldn't take place ("imagine no possessions!" has been ringing on every forum), but I think it's great. Though commercial in its purpose, the end product results in you getting hold of more information about someone you admire. Nothing's wrong with that, folks.

* If you'd like, you can celebrate along with me: I'm planning to kick off the day with "It's Johnny's Birthday" from All Things Must Pass, then spend the afternoon enjoying John's beautiful musical legacy, and, before the day is over, raise a teacup to him.

Whatever you decide to do, THINK PEACE, ACT PEACE, SPREAD PEACE, IMAGINE PEACE.

To my boy, my fella, my guy: happy birthday, love. You're just seventy-one years into forever, darlin'. Thank you for everything; global, personal, now and always, even if I don't always listen (I'm only a stupid human, you know).
Big love to you and little Sean (I know he's thirty-six years old today, but he'll always be little Sean as far as I'm concerned)!

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's Time To Play "Who's That Band"!

My Mama is a funny lady. Have I ever mentioned that before? Maybe it's because we share the same sick sense of humor, but we do have a way of making each other laugh heartily at the dumbest of things. Funny faces, looks, or even just pointing at objects will get us giggling, not to mention the stupid things we say (whether meaning to or not).
With that being said, here is a paraphrased telephone conversation I had with my mother this afternoon.

Mother: What's that Plain White T's song about Baltimore?

Me: I don't know what you're talking about. (Internal monologue: is she confusing them with All Time Low again?)

Mother: Or maybe it was New York?

Me: Still don't have a clue. (Internal monologue: she doesn't mean "Delilah", 'cause she knows that one. What is she on about?)

Mother: You know, the one where the lady's husband is in prison.

Me: Do you mean "Cape Town"?

Mother: Yeah! That's the one!

Me: That's not the Plain White T's.

Mother: Which ones are they, then?

Me: That's The Young Veins. Not the same guys.

Mother: Oh, well, I'll have to get them from you, then. I was gunna play that for your dad.

Me: You should have that album on your iPod.

Mother: Do I?

We'll skip past the bit where I had to explain how to find the album on her iPod.

Mother: I didn't know I had that. I like them, though.

Me: Yeah, I like them, too, but they aren't a band anymore.

Mother: Oh, that's too bad. Anyway, their lead singer isn't as cute as the Plain White T's. Well, I've gotta go, I'll talk to you later!

End Scene.

Anyone who remembers Russell Brand's show on BBC Radio 2 (before Sachsgate!) may be reminded of his "Nanecdotes" feature.

I played this for my mother. She didn't get it.

Regardless, her little comment just made my day.
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I think I had a dream like this once; Jimmy Fallon was my fairy godmother, but in that Tony Harrison kind of way.
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Looking at this scenario in a lucid mental state, I'd love to remember more about this dream.

Over the last couple of months, she's been asking if anybody on the radio that isn't a Beatle is the Plain White T's. My question is, why does she keep thinking that everyone that isn't the Plain White T's is the Plain White T's? This is becoming a common occurrence at our house. The answer to my question hit me like a bolt of lightning after I recovered from the telephone conversation.
Something I hadn't actually talked about on here is that, after nearly four years, the Two Weeks Nightmare has finally been broken (remember, huh? We talked about that). That being said, she now asks if that's them because she's been underexposed (I have done her wrong!), and she's going to have to sit through an hour and a half set from 'em.
I wasn't too worried about it, really; that is, at first. I figured we would go, have a couple of chuckles, and a fun evening out (while I secretly fangirled, naturally).
Then, the other night, I showed her one of the opening acts.

And she asked the damning question: "Are you sure you wouldn't rather go by yourself, rather than with an old lady?"
Oh, bollocks.
"Well," I said, "I kinda-sorta told you that you wouldn't like it. You know, before you went off and did that crazy buying-tickets-thing."
"Oh, I like it," she corrected too quickly to sound entirely sincere, "it's just..."
I'm not sure whether I mentally finished the sentence for her or not, but I remember it ending with "awfully young".
I'm starting to feel that generation gap.
So, I've been worrying about this for three days. She's going to go, and not understand the words. Maybe the crowd will be too rowdy; after all, we're used to going to concerts like Paul, or Elton John -- quite a difference in genres. What will she think when she hears some of the things that are bound to be heard?
My worry, naturally, isn't about her going (she's the best to go to shows with, and we always have a good time); I worry that she won't enjoy herself. In short, I'm taking her out of a comfort zone. And I'm feeling terribly guilty about it. Guilt is something new for me, since I'm one of those "no regrets, screw 'em all" folks.
Well, it's not like I didn't warn her before she even stepped foot in the door.
I just keep thanking my lucky stars she isn't going to an All Time Low concert.

If I ever get the chance to see 'em, I'd better go it alone.

Here, have a song about Baltimore... or New York... or something. How did she not remember the name of this song? It's got a 40 second refrain at the end that continually repeats "Cape Town", not to mention the chorus.

And this was the moment I fell in musical love with Ryan Ross and Jon Walker.

Post Script -

I thought I'd stick this at the end of the post as a public service announcement.
What I thought was pop-culture common knowledge, apparently, is not (I've just spent too many hours/years of my life on YouTube watching interviews, I guess).
For those few of you on the face of this planet who do not know the story of "Hey There Delilah", please fast forward this interview to the 2:29 timestamp.

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)