Saturday, May 4, 2013

How To Kill A Fangirl In Twenty-Five Days

Something I have learned about myself over the last ten years or so is that I will either strongly dislike something, be totally neutral about something, or invest the only two worthwhile commodities -- time and emotion -- into something. There really doesn't seem to be any middle ground, which I have yet to decide is a good or bad thing. Regardless, this story deals with the time and emotion side of things. To be honest, I don't bloody know how I've survived it, because I thought I was going to die of hyperventilation and/or extreme stress a couple of times there. Just know that you have been warned about this before we even get into it.
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OK. We can proceed.

I had known that April 9th would be a high stress day for me. There was quite enough to be getting on with: questionable EPs and equally questionable television shows at the same time. I was bobbing up and down in anticipation for these things on the night on the 8th, as well as the highest stress event I can ever have in my little life, and we will talk about in a minute. At any rate, I was just minding my own business that night when this video came across my radar...

Did someone say tour?
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Regardless that I live in the worst possible location to go to concerts in the history of ever (think Narnia, then add four hundred miles), I love to hear about new tours; after all, you never know what you can stumble upon, whether you make it happen, or it happens for you. At any rate, this development added to my giddy state; the fact that they announced the tour without talking about dates at that point added to the excitement, since we have known for a while now that a new album was in the works, and wouldn't it just be so damn tidy to talk about those two things at the same time? Yes.

When the morning of April 9th dawned, however, EPs and TV and 8123 were all the furthest thing from my mind. I poured myself a cup of tea in one of my lucky mugs, and probably developed a couple of ulcers while waiting for ten o'clock to strike.

Can anyone say "Tulsa roadtrip"? Yes, on top of all of the giddy, I had been carrying the burden of Paul presale. And, let me tell you, this was not going to be an easy presale. Fortunately, we weren't trying for tickets to the Austin date, because that was an even bigger cluster than Tulsa ended up being. In the first twenty minutes of fan presale -- which began an hour before the American Express presale -- the site's servers crashed completely. Put simply, no one could get on. Everything from the ticket buying portion of Paul's site to the forums were obliterated; what that means, then, is that nobody knew if everybody else had gotten tickets, either. Do you even know how long twenty minutes is? I do. It lasts about half of my lifespan. And, after those twenty minutes, I lost approximately fifteen years from that lifespan. At the thirty minute mark, I still kept getting error messages, and probably developed a third ulcer. Finally, my mother got into the site, and ended up with a pair of seats. She was screaming at this point, which I don't think helped, because, as she was screeching bloody murder, I got in on my computer, too. We had, essentially, two minutes to decide what seats to take. Do you know how long two minutes is? Blink. There, two minutes. We took my seats, and happily forked over a small fortune. To which I say, "who in hell cares, we're going to see Paul!"
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In all of the commotion, I didn't think I could handle a fourth ulcer. It was decided, for my mental health, I shouldn't deal with any of the April 9th festivities. I was OK with that, 'cause, you know, Paul.
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In addition to the presale debacle, Paul's people then decide it's a good idea to put this information out into the universe.

Fun fact: When I started learning about Paul's solo career, the "Wings Over America" footage was my first stop on the crazy train. What eleven year old could say no to that?

And then, the next day, they decide to punch us all in the virtual face by showing us what comes with the super-dee-duper deluxe edition. We all know I can't resist a deluxe edition.

I need seven of these. Now. I guess the one I have on preorder will have to do.

Also, this happened, and a lot of people were not amused.

I thought it was hilarious, personally. They put out a couple of different joke teasers, then promptly removed them. In our modern age, this means to be on the lookout for pertinent information.

By the 12th, I felt I had mustered enough courage to finally listen to the Should've Gone to Bed EP. Seriously, I can only assume that they picked the single for the sole purpose of representing the EP to the popular market; the other three songs on the EP sound like a natural progression from Wonders of the Younger, and will work as a nice bridge between that record and their upcoming release later in the year.

And, speaking of releases later in the year...
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Can we get excited about everything that's going on right now? Too late, 'cause I'm already excited about everything that's bloody going on right now. Are you dancing yet? Do it. Go on, I won't tell anybody.
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Of course, it did rain on my little happy-parade when, on that same day, Paul announced a second Tulsa show. Unless I become a girl without virtue, I can't possibly hand over another small fortune for the second night. That's why I didn't give it a second thought, and I didn't even share the information with my mother, as I was sure it might rain on her puppy parade, too.
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That adorable little bugger.

A couple of days later, I was in my room, minding my own business, when I hear a timid knock on my door.
"Your dad had an idea," my mother said to me. "I told him not to offer unless he was sure, because I know that, once I tell you his idea, you'll take the offer."
Yes, yes, keep talking, woman, you have piqued my interest, what is this endeavor of which you speak?
"What if we stay in Tulsa an extra night, and buy the cheapest tickets we can get for the second show?"
I guess she saw the announcement via Facebook or something, because, within fifteen minutes of the offer being put on the table, we bought tickets, and extended our hotel reservation.
And the clouds lifted...

So, the next day, I'm asking myself if this week can get any better. I mean, judging from what you've read so far, it could be said that I was having a pretty fantastic one. Filled with the joys of my good fortune, I decided to see what was going on in my little band world. It decided to explode by leaking a new song from Forever Halloween, then releasing tour dates at midnight. Even though the tour wasn't possible for me, I still love to look. From tours come the human element of bands: fan stories, photographs, videos, things of that nature. Even from a distance, I can feel like a part of events I would want to be at -- you know, geography withstanding. Isn't the Internet marvelous?

Now, this post originally ended here. It was called "How To Kill A Fangirl In Eight Days" at that point, but things got in the way of posting it. Finals season is upon college students at large, and it decided to hit with a vengeance. I figured that, after finals, things would start to simmer down. Oh, no, not hardly. Before I even took my last final of the semester, I got a call from my dad's mother. She's been trying to get us to go to Dallas with her for a number of reasons, and, on this particular day, she called to remind me of her request.
"You really should think about Dallas," she said to me.
"Let me look at my college schedule, and I'll let you know what I can do."
It then occurred to me to not only consult my college schedule, but tour schedules. Remember how, at the beginning of this post, I said that some things happen to you, and others happen because of you?
Can you guess what I made happen?
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Solve the puzzle, Vanna.

I have to say, though, I am a little nervous about it. I mean, this is the kind of thing where you can meet and greet out by the buses. And, you know, I'm not that good with meet and greets. Remember when I met Alex Gaskarth? My sister does, 'cause she sent me this after she read that post...
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And she's absolutely right.
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I have to keep in mind not to do this...
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...or this...
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My problem is always that I feel like fans expect so much of people in their situation, and they end up giving to their detriment. They give their art, give up their normal lives, make all kinds of personal sacrifices, and then, some little half-wit makes further demands; and, to me, just because you buy an album or a ticket does not entitle you to ask for anything. They've got enough going on without somebody like me going all Scarlett-O'Hara-in-ridiculous-cat-glasses on them. Can you imagine that image? Little ol' me would rather not. I know I'd kick myself if I didn't at least try, but I'll think quite hard about it before then.

In all of this excitement, two days ago, I got another giant surprise. Yes, I arranged the opportunity to see The Maine, but I was actually handed the opportunity to see Ringo Starr and the All-Star Band in Las Vegas. It just so happens that he'll be closing his 2013 tour while we're going to be in town. How's that for timing?
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Ringo's presale was an absolute disaster. I had read the day before that the fan presale would be the day prior to regular sale. What I didn't know until the presale began, though, was that there was some kind of code required. I had to supersleuth for thirty minutes before I found the stupid code, because the Space Jam website is more up to date than Ringo's. And I'm assuming his fans are not nearly as rabid as Paul's, because I couldn't find an active forum to talk about presales. The physical box office wouldn't be open for another two hours, and I had absolutely no leads. I guess that was a major problem for The Palms, because they ended up tweeting the password for all of us scrambling idiots.
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I've been saving this for two years. That's how far in advance I plan blogs.

Believe it or not, I once turned down the chance to see Ringo. He passed through our little truck stop town a few years back, and I didn't want to go. Well, let me rephrase that: I didn't want to go for that outrageous admission price. His cheap seats are still more expensive than Paul's cheap seats; when I found that out, I still didn't think it was worth it. My mother, on the other hand, wants to go. It still irks me that we're paying more to see Ringo than for that second Paul show. Wouldn't that bother you? It bothers me. Regardless, we're going to see Ringo in all his diva-tastic glory. Wait, did I say that?
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What has this exercise taught us?

Who needs savings for the future when there's Paul and band stuff?
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And, have I not got the best parents in all of creation? I don't know how I have fooled them into thinking I'm worth all of this bother, but I guess I'll just have to keep baking to earn my keep.
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Based purely on the evidence before us, this is how to kill a fangirl in twenty-five days.
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