Fear and loathing in Las Vegas

You guys. I made it back alive from Vegas, and if all goes according to plan, I’m in the Mouse House as the post is published. I thought I’d throw down a few highlights of my Viva Las Vegas jaunt.

There were ghosts or someone was stalking my room. I walked into my hotel room at about 10pm, and the T.V. was on. Thoroughly creeped out, I scanned the room for signs of someone else’s luggage. Then I called the front desk and asked if that was normal. Spoiler alert: It’s not. She told me to “be careful” and I thought those were some pretty bold words for someone sitting in a proverbial tower. I opened every door, turned on every light,  pulled the curtains wide open and patted them down for good measure, and slept with one eye open. It was not unlike that one time I was alone and afraid in my house when we first bought it.

The Backstreet Boys are still awesome. Amber and I had one hell of a time. It was like being 14 and in college at the same time all over again. Although my love for Nick Carter died a quick and painless death, I realized that I am definitely a Brian kinda girl. 

I read 3 books. This may not seem all that exciting to you, but when you’ve got a cocktail in a cool spot by the pool, you can  churn through a lot of books and call it research for your own book. Of course, you can also start reading a fourth book,  a series that was highly recommended to you, and not understand why in the world you couldn’t get into it…and also why it was super confusing…until you realize you’ve started with the second book and you feel like an idiot.  You know…hypothetically. 

I realized that I can make friends everywhere. Whether I want to or not. On Saturday evening,  I sat down in the coolest little pool nook,  right alongside the deep end.  I was hanging out, people watching, and taking selfies, as I’m typically wont to do, when a group of people sat down next to me. A man eho was about my age affectionately told an older woman to sit there beside me. So I scooted over when teo more people came up on my other side. I was almost disappointingly trapped, but they started talking to me, and we had a bizarre conversation about the Backstreet Boys,  Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey’s ex-boyfriend. 

My new friends weren’t the only ones to invade my personal space that weekend,  though. Poolside again on Sunday, I was giving off my very serious KeepOut vibe as the sun slowly crept up the foot of my chaise lounge, when a leathery, red-tanned man in his 50s or 60s walked up to me. 

“Hey sexy, can you do me a favor? Can you put some sunscreen on my back?” 

Whatever was unfolding, I’m not one to take skin care lightly. I agreed, as he definitely looked like he needed it. 

“I can put some on you too.” 

“No thanks, I’m good.” I had alread doused myself in half a can of spray sunscreen.

“I don’t want to get burned ya know?” 

“Me neither. That’s why I’m hiding from the sun.”

I quickly patted some sunscreen on his back and sent him on his merry way. He returmed to the pool where a few of his friends were laighing and smiling. Whether I was a bet or not, I hope he got a good story out of it too. 

Going places without my husband is weird. I forget sometimes what it’s like to be single, but both of my aforementioned interactions included, “Where is your boyfriend/husband?” With the first group, I’m sure it was merely curiosity, as I’d preciously mentioned him in conversation (because I love the word, “husband”). The second was definitely fishing for information. Both times, though, “your husband doesn’t mind you traveling without him?”

Mind? I’m pretty sure he appreciates that I don’t drag him on every wild adventure I say yes to. 

Speaking of wild adventures, follow me on the social medias to catch the next leg of my summer adventure.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Ate Vegan and Didn’t Die. On an Unrelated Note, I Also Met Someone Famous and Didn’t Make an Ass of Myself. I Didn’t Talk Either, so There’s That…

After my run-ins with The Bloggess, Dr Travis Stork, and other semi-famous people who I’ve made an ass out of myself in front of…you’d think I’d be used to dealing with this sort of nonsense.

Let me start from the beginning.

A few months ago, a friend of ours invited us to go see Toad the Wet Sprocket in Chicago. I thought to myself, “self, you really enjoyed Toad the Wet Sprocket in the 90’s. Remember middle school? That shit was the bomb. Dancing in a big circle, huddled up with your closest pals, swaying to the music and smiling at the boy you had a crush on? Go. Seriously. Go to this concert.”

So we made plans…and then magically, Saturday, it was Toad the Wet Sprocket. Our friend Will thought that dining at a vegan restaurant would be a brilliant idea…while my boyfriend and I…well…we had a lot of fun laughing about it before hand. Phrases like this were bounced around on Saturday morning:

“Fake cheese is an abomination.”

“Wait. Chicken wings? Why lie? Why not call them tofu sticks?”

“I can’t take this place seriously.”

And so we decided that we absolutely HAD to go to this vegan locale, because at the very least, I’d get a funny blog post out of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a terribly funny blog post, because I got the most stereotypical vegan entree (a salad) that contained no fake cheese or fake meat. F that. I did manage to try a fake chicken tender…which was surprisingly okay. Even if the texture was a little weird.

But the part about this visit that was particularly blog-worthy had nothing to do with the food at said vegan restaurant. And EVERYTHING to do with the Toad the Wet Sprocket concert that we’d be attending a block away.

One minute I was making fun of a fake chicken wing; the next minute Will is all, “What’s going on, man?” to this guy standing at the counter ordering. “We’re looking forward to the show,” he says…

What?!

Glen Phillips, lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprockets was getting ready to nosh on some vegan fair. And he was totally cool.

And I was totally speechless.

Our other friend managed to strike up an entire conversation with him, about how great he looked for his age (he really does look like he’s in his 20’s.) And I just sat there, barely saying a word. Thinking all of the things I wanted to say.

  • “Can I interview you?”
  • “Can I get your picture?”
  • “Can I touch your chest?”
  • “Your voice makes me want to have your babies.”

No? Probably shouldn’t go there on date night with the boyfriend sitting right next to me…right?

So I said nothing. And he smiled. And made us laugh. And then a few hours later, he was jammin’ out on stage. It was…pretty fantastic. By the way, if you dig on 90’s tunes, and have the chance? GO. Go see Toad the Wet Sprocket. They are JUST as amazing live as they are on the radio or an album. Super impressive.

Also?

I mentioned this before at the Wallflowers concert we attended a few months back…but it needs to be reiterated.

I seriously wanted to cut the bitch who was texting on her phone all night long three rows in front of us. Or the bitch behind us who kept taking videos and pictures. I was mostly impressed with the lack of visible technology because the majority of concert-goers had RESPECT for the other audience members…But the few that were all up in the video/camera/busy checking Facebook/texting world? Stop being douchebags. Turn your tech off for a few hours and enjoy the music.

And that’s why I have no pictures of said concert.

How was your weekend blog friends? If you’re in the central Illinois area (or anywhere in the midwest devastated by Sunday’s storm), my thoughts go out to you and your families. Even up here in the west suburbs it was terrifying…I can’t imagine what it was south of us.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

WTF Wednesday: You Are Exactly the Same As You Used to Be

The only difference
That I see
Is you are exactly the same
As you used to be
 

17 years ago this coming summer, my mom took me, and my three best friends, to see the Wallflowers and the Counting Crows at The Midwest Bank Amphitheater Tweeter Center New World Music Theater concert venue in Tinley Park, IL that has changed its name so many times in 17 years, that I don’t even remember what it was called back then. We were 13. Yes, 13. Our very first concert. My 8th grade graduation present. Because my mom had taken my then-sister, now-estranged-sister Deven to Bon Jovi when she was 13. I used that as leverage. And besides, my mom was rockin’ out to Jakob Dylan with the rest of us.

Remember how I told you that Katie used to wear band tee shirts? The Wallflowers and Bon Jovi were the only two band tee-shirts that I had. And I wore them with pride. (Side note: If I can dig up the shirt, I’ll snap a picture of it later today when I stop by my parents house.)

So when Brian came home two weeks ago (during a pretty rough week) and said, “Guess who’s going to be at the Tivoli (small OLD amazing theater in downtown Downers Grove)?” and I couldn’t guess right anyways…he told me, “The Wallflowers.”

And I was all, “That was my first concert.”

And he was like, “I know, that’s why you should be excited! Because we’re totally going. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.”

The Wallflowers

So last night, we had an evening with the Wallflowers. It was like a jam session. It was fucking awesome. Jakob Dylan sings better in a studio, but they rocked out the instruments like motherfucking rockstars.

The only other bands/musicians that I’ve seen more than once  were Bon Jovi and The Backstreet Boys (stop it. Stop judging me. You know you loved boy bands a good decade ago…)But last night was different. Because I started noticing things. And they weren’t good things. While Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers were “exactly the same as they used to be,” the crowd…the crowd was not.

The Difference 17 Years Makes

The Wallflowers

Not the world’s greatest picture, but I was busy watching a concert. Just saying…

Sure, there were still people who had gotten super stoned…There was still that woman who did a little coke before entering the theater and obnoxiously jumped up and down while everyone else was sitting…And I was still the youngest person at the venue…But the crowd (myself included) had aged significantly. WHY DOESN’T JACOB DYLAN LOOK OLD?!

No one threw their bras at Jakob Dylan…

I remember being 13, and watching bras flying on stage, thinking to myself, I would TOTALLY do that…you know, if it wasn’t a 13-year-old’s bra. That’d be a little awkward.

Most people were sitting down…

I mean it was a nice theater. The seats were comfy. It was more of a jam session that a crazy pumpin’ concert. And I got old. And kinda liked it.

No one had lighters anymore…

Back in the day, you may not remember this, but people used to hold up lighters when a great song was playing. No one carries lighters around anymore…It’s a lost tradition that our children and their children will probably never know. I remember a few years later, people would hold up their cell phones with the lights glowing…but now that doesn’t even happen. Because the cell phones are now cameras…which leads us to my most important point…

Half of the crowd was NOT watching the show…

Because they were too busy trying to capture it on film. You’ll note that I have one picture from inside the theater. ONE. No videos. No crazy awesome snapshots. Because I enjoyed the concert. I swayed to the music. I danced to my favorite songs. I took everything in. Including the fact that HALF of the people in the audience were too busy videotaping the show with their phones to actually appreciate the concert. It was worse when songs like One Headlight were playing or super awesome instrumental solos were happening.

What The Fuck?

Calendar After Tuesday WTF

What the fuck, people? When did we worry more about capturing things in life than actually living live? Stop for a minute. And just let life happen. My friend over at the B(itch)log wrote a post about a self-imposed technology strike and how people are all about capturing everything on film and it really resonated with me. (If you don’t read her, you fucking should. She’s awesome.)

I watched as all of these people were watching the LIVE concert through their tiny cell phones and tiny cameras, blocking the views of the people behind them, so worried about getting the right angle for the shot, that they must have forgotten where they were.

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of snapping shots of my food. I want to show the world the delicious things I eat. Because, really, you need to understand why I’m a chubby kid, right? But I try really hard to live my life, and only capture on film what I need to. We take hundreds of pictures on vacation, but the really candid stuff? The things that happen that you just WISH you had taken a picture of? Those are truly the best moments. Because we remember them in our hearts and in our minds.

Another friend of mine is taking a social media break. FOR LENT. 6 weeks without Facebook. Or Twitter. Or cat memes. She’s blogging about her experience without social media, so you should ALSO check out her blog, Grass Oil. Instead of living life through Facebook and Twitter, she’s just living life.

So go out there, friends, and LIVE LIFE. Stop trying to capture it all on tape. Unless it’s some momentous occasion, like when I dreamed (two nights ago) that I was in Paris with Vince Vaughn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Nero, Matt Damon, and David Tennant…and you know what? I still didn’t manage to get my picture taken with any of them!

What was your first concert? What’s changed since then?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!