"You Too" and Stuff...

If it's "a penny for your thoughts" but you have to "put your two cents in", someone is making a penny somewhere.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mike and the Blue Men

My friend Chris and I took a little jaunt over to Peoria to see the Blue Man Group last week. We had seen them before a few years ago in Champaign and weren't disappointed. When I found out that they were going to be so close to home, I knew that there was absolutely no way that we could miss them on their "How to be a Megastar 2.0" tour.

Chris and I were both able to skip out of work early that day so we headed to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner and then onto Inplay, a Dave & Buster-esque bar/arcade. After kicking Chris' ass at Skeeball, we proceeded onto the main event.

Our tickets for the show weren't the best, we were facing the stage right from a side view, but we were still able to see okay due to the large side screens, which seem to be the standard for concerts now, and we had another good view as the stage protruded out a bit.

The first time that we had seen them, the Blue Man Group was touring with Tracy Bonham as an opener and Venus Hum as a special guest. I thought that Ms. Bonham rocked, especially with her acoustic version of "Mother Mother", but this tour's opener, DJ Mike Relm, blew her away. Like most undiscovered talent, he's been around for a while playing the underground scene in the San Francisco area. I'm glad that he was able to snag such a popular tour so that he can be exposed to lots of new people who may not have been aware that he even existed, such as myself. The crowd reacted wildly to him and he spun and scratched in sync with some of the greatest movie clips ever. If you were present at the concert, I'm sure that you will never look at "Office Space" the same way again. Relm also mixed-up scenes from Woodstock, Fight Club, and even the Peanuts. Amazing. His high energy performance had me hooked. I've provided some a clip of some of his stuff for your enjoyment. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet DJ Mike Relm!

The Blue Man Group, as usual, was creative, fun, and humorous. They kept the crowd entertained by flashing facts, jokes, and shameless website/newsletter plugs across the screens for 15 minutes before the show started. Chris and I were a bit disappointed to see that they hadn't switched up the act from when we had seen them before. They again walked the audience through the essential rock concert traditions such as the one-handed fist pump, the head nod, and even the fake ending. They are champions at crowd-participation. This time around they're encouraging people to take pictures and the post them to their "How to be a Megastar" website. The back-up band was terrific, with three drummers and a few more guitarists. I've also posted below my favorite part of the show...nothing gets an audience going like an old familiar tune, in Blue Man Group fashion, of course. If you haven't had a chance to experience one of their shows, I encourage you to do so if they happen to roll through your area. If you've seen them in Vegas or in Chicago, expect something different this time around. This is a rock concert compared to a stage show. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What's Up, Buttercups?

Hello again, my friends! I hope all is well in your worlds. I know that I've been quite absent, but I've also been quite the busy little bee. Here's what's been goin' on in my hood:

1) The boy and I have decided to take the next step so we're gettin' hitched! V proposed to me on New Year's Eve and we're in the process of planning our September 2008 wedding. We aren't the only ones taking the plunge. His sister became engaged at Christmas and his brother proposed to his girlfriend for Valentine's Day. It seems that we'll be surrounded by wedding stuff for the next year! Congrats to Becky & Brad and John & Eileen, btw! I've gone from an only child to having a step-brother and now am anticipating acquiring lots of in-laws!

(Here is my engagement ring along with the recent wedding band that matches my ring. We were lucky enough to get our bands recently at Stout & Lauer's big closing sale!)

2) Of course, when exciting things happen, crappy things happen as well. I decided that I had been a fugitive on the run for long enough and made the decision to get my wisdom teeth out. Luckily, they were all above the gums so I just had to have them pulled rather than cut out. Once I was numb, the entire process only took about 15 minutes. I took my ipod so that I wouldn't hear any unpleasant crunching noises. V was excited to document the adventure and my dentist was more than likely to make room for him to get the best shots. Warning: Nasty dental shots below... (things are healing well, no dry sockets, thanks for asking)

Thank you Dr. Ross!

Tools of torture

The main event

Bloody holes

Aftermath (note the sexy uneven lips and drool)

3) Just as time changed this morning at 2 a.m., my age will be changing as well. Next week I'll hit the big 3-0. The only thing that is getting me through the trauma is the fact that I'm escaping to St. Louis this weekend on a "girls weekend" away with my mom. We're staying at the Hyatt in Union Station, will be attending the HUGE St. Patrick's Day parade, and will be taking in a concert by Harry Connick Jr. (I'll plug his new CD, "Oh My Nola" because it's fantastic!) The first activity of "Birthday Week" will take place tomorrow night. I'm headed to see "Rent", one of my favorite musicals. Wish me luck in surviving the final week of my twenties...

I guess the only other big happenings took place in Springfield over the past few months. As you probably have heard Sen. Barak Obama announced his candidacy for President on the lawn of the Old State Capitol. I watched the action from the coziness of my couch. I've already joined "Team Hilary". Best of luck to all of the candidates.

Last week there was a rash, about 200, car vandalisms around the city. My mom's car windows were casualties in the action. Fortunately, they caught the jack-holes responsible so Springfield can sleep in peace again. Thank you SPD!

Tomorrow marks the 1-year anniversary of the tornadoes that hit, and temporarily destroyed, the city. The domestic violence shelter at which I work suffered a great amount of damage. We just made our final repairs last week. Many have rebuilt, but my thoughts will be with those who lost everything and are still trying to gain some re-order to their lives.

Finally, some of my favorite businesses will be closing their doors soon, if they haven't already.

- Stout & Lauer is preparing to close its doors after being in Springfield for over 100 years. The last time we were there, they still had great things left and will continue putting out new jewelry as new settings are completed. Stop by, take a look, and wish them well.

- La Sorella, my favorite restaurant in town, which made my favorite food ever, garlic bread pasta, closed last weekend. We were lucky enough to visit one last time before it's final closing. It's sad to see us lose such a phenomenal establishment. Not only was the food amazing, La Sorella held special meaning to me. I had my first legal drink there on my 21st birthday, V and I went there the night we became engaged. I was hoping to spend my 30th there and we were hoping they'd be around to host our rehearsal dinner. Thanks for the memories...and the garlic bread pasta!

- Yesterday I received word that the Scrapping Bee will be closing after 5 years. I, along with quite a few others, flocked to the store yesterday to make our final purchases and to wish Kendra and the gang good luck. The average length of time to wait in line was an hour and a half, but it was a wait that was worth it. I overheard many sharing stories of new friendships, as well as beautiful pages, that were created at the Scrapping Bee. They won't be closing until the end of the month so if you haven't had a chance, stop in, tell everyone "good-bye" and pick up some awesome deals at the same time. Although my fellow scrappers will be sad to see them go, the staff should be proud of what they've accomplished and the memories that they've helped to make. Keep on BEE-ing creative and I have no doubts that you'll BEE successful! Best of luck to you!

Enough of the sappy! Now you know how I've spent my absence. What have you been up to?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Trick and A Treat

I hope everyone got enough sweets to make their dentist have nightmares last night. I had plenty because, not knowing what to expect in the new area, I stocked up on chocolate for hungry Trick or Treaters. Unfortunately, we only had 4 visitors and my ass is going to continue to grow as a result.

Diet woes aside, I did get a lovely little treat yesterday. I learned that John Mayer is going back on tour and will be heading for Bloomington in February. I saw him last month in St. Louis with Sheryl Crow and the show was amazing! I've been listening to his new CD, "Continuum", since the second it was released. I can easily say that it's the best music collection I've heard this year. It's a lot of bluesy sounds mixed with the tiniest bit of pop.

Check out Mr. Mayer's always entertaining blog here. After that, buy "Continuum". You won't regret it. Tell Amazon that Jodi sent ya...

Here's a clip from John Mayer's shortly-lived show on Vh-1. He dresses up in a bear suit and talking to tail-gating fans before one of his shows. Hilarious!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Happy Almost Halloween!

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of "It's a Great Pumpkin,Charlie Brown!", I thought I'd post this clip. Enjoy and may the Great Pumpkin make all of your Halloween wishes come true!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Illinois State Fair 2006

You either love it or hate it, but if you live in Springfield, there's no avoiding it. It's the Illinois State Fair. For my entire life, I've gone at least once each year. I go to eat the customary corn dog to remedy that feeling I'd get if I didn't go that I had really missed something. The state fair is one of those things that you look forward to, but then you want to leave immediately as soon as it arrives. Unfortunately, it sticks around town for ten days.

V was off studying for his exam, the weather was as nice and mild as it was going to get, and I had a craving for Culler's vinegar fries, so off I went. This was a mission that I had to accept. Making a solo venture to the fair doesn't bother me. I like to have a plan mapped out to assure that I get to see everything so sometimes having someone else with you involves too much compromise that just might slow you down. The Illinois State Fair is a sensitive operation, you're in, you're out, you're finished until 2007.

There are certain things that you have to see every year to make the trip count and there's some things that you just don't expect to see. I saw much of both.

The one thing that everyone looks forward to seeing once the fair starts its annual promotion is which new food will be featured. This year it happened to be "Egg on a stick", which is nothing more than a hard-boiled egg on a skewer with a variety of dipping sauce options. For some reason, when I think of the fair and the accompanying heat, eating eggs just doesn't come to mind.

Although the weather was gorgeous, it was still a little warm. This led to me missing out many of my favorite fair treats simply because eating them would only make me hotter. Unfortunately, I had to skip one of my new favorite stands, "Fried What?" It's only been around for a few years, but it has already become a fair favorite. I've tried the Snicker's Bar, the Twinkie, the Cheesecake, and the Strawberry Shortcake in previous years. They were each surprisingly good.
One food that I didn't eat and totally regret it...
Oh well, I still have to go back next week to hang out with the Counting Crows. I'll hit Ethnic Village then...

Among the fair standards that I couldn't miss seeing were the giant slide, the giant abe, the giant Milkshake stands, the man making popcorn in the giant kettle, the giant sand sculpture, and the giant Buttercow. Yes, it's a cow made out of butter. See it for yourself in real time, along with the other fairgoers, here.

And you thought things were bigger in Texas.....

While I expected to see all of these fun things, one thing that I wasn't expecting to ever see was a reindeer! Did you know that they're antlers are fuzzy?
In Conservation World, I saw this crazy racecar made of recycled containers. I wonder if it runs on some type of Biodiesel... Yep, that V and his tree huggin' is really rubbing off on me.

By this time, I felt content with my visit to the fair. I also felt that my sunscreen was wearing off so I decided to get my mandatory lemon shake-up to go. So until next year, or at least next weekend, so long old friend!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mr. Jones and Me

It's nice to know that during times when life seems busy and terribly hectic, there are small moments that can remind you that there is still fun to be had. One of those moments reached me on Monday, when I was swamped at work and trying to balance several different projects. I received a phone call, the only call that I actually didn't let go through to voicemail, from the Community Outreach Coordinator for the band, Counting Crows. Evidently, domestic violence is one of the causes that the band supports. They are going to be playing at our Illinois State Fair this year along with the Goo Goo Dolls. Counting Crows kindly invited us to plug our domestic violence agency at the concert. Adam Duritz himself will make announcements promoting us! The band is even going to post a link to our website from theirs. Thanks guys! I'll be sure to post pics of the show to share.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Steve in My City!!

V and I went to visit his mom this weekend in Indiana. We had a nice, relaxing weekend that I thought couldn't get any better until I came home to find this in my mailbox...

It's an autographed picture of David Eigenberg (aka Steve Brady, Miranda Hobbes' bartending beau on "Sex and the City")!! How lucky am I??