Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Come just as you are to me don't need apologies, know that you are worthy" ~Katy Perry

Went to the Caymans to see my friends and had the best birthday ever thanks to them. I feel loved and was treated like a princess. It's an incredible feeling.....I'm so lucky to have friends who love me unconditionally. And we must have heard that new Katy Perry song about a 100 times, so its a song about friendship....I AM sure....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"I wanna be where I've never been before..."

"...I wanna be there and then I'd understand..."

Song Du Jour:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Counting down 'til the pain would stop"

Is there anyone who goes through life without feeling both edges of pure joy and complete sadness? I like to think that they match each other, or perhaps the joyful moments can over power any sad moment, can't it? Joy is tougher, sometimes you miss it or take it for granted. I am humbled to say that joy has filled my year so far, I have been careful to recognize it and wallow in it for a while.

I returned from my last U2 concert of the 360 tour Sunday. I knew Saturday, during the concert, how special that night would be, I was there in that moment, willing myself to be present. Meeting new friends in GA, hearing "Shine Like Stars" at the end of WOWY and sharing that moment with fans who were also blown away by that! Incredible night.

Early the morning after, teary eyed, I dragged my suitcase away from good friends and fun back to a plane home. At home came the news about the passing of a friend. Tomorrow I will be attending a memorial for a friend who lost his life last Saturday. Life, you crazy thing...so blessed is a life filled with joy and pain all at the same time.

Every eye looking every other way
Counting down 'til the pain would stop

At the moment of surrender
Of vision over visibility

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"If you love me like I love you please won't you let me know "

It's rather amazing what drums and a guitar can produce. The Black Keys were incredible. The set list was stellar. From material they've produced since 2002 and up. I was glad to hear My Next Girl, The Breaks, 10 Cent Pistol...that song is incredible live. Strange Times was intense. You could feel it in your chest. Everybody was up dancing...and everybody seemed to be high...lots of pot smokers in that crowd, which was very young and mostly male.

The stage was stripped right down to almost nothing...it was a skeleton of lights and it was stellar. Just some white lights strung up...at times it was like being in a backyard or in your buddies basement. I loved it. But I'd love to see them in a more intimate setting.

The crowd was timid at first....but they warmed up quickly. It was a bit of a lovefest really, I felt the crowd really had a lot of respect for what they were seeing. It was incredible to watch the interaction between the drums and the sweet blues guitar...they added musicians for Tighten Up and the the bigger hits, they sounded great too. Still amazed by the guitar.

Cage The Elephant, the opener, was a lot more screamy than I had imagined they'd be. But they performed their hits well. Sans yelling.

It was a brilliant night. We realized that all of us, and there were 12 of us, had met through twitter. Also you should try Granville Island's Maple Cream Ale, it's delicious.

Song Du Jour:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"

I've been trying to figure out this odd feeling that keeps washing over me this last month. It's like it builds up in my chest until I can't take it anymore and I feel like I might burst.

Last night I was in Save On Foods rushing about in my workout gear after getting my arse handed to me at kickboxing/punch dancing class and I found myself smiling away at the bulk organic soynuts cascading into the bag while a woman berated her child in the bulk foods aisle. She was an angry lady...poor kid. All of a sudden Mysterious Ways by U2 came on the speakers and I sang along happily while two men had a fight over soda near their cart. "No dude, you can make Cuba Libre's with fake pop..." "yeah but Coke is too expensive, ya jackass." "oh fuck you...just leave it in the cart" "You're already ruining next weekend dude!" Holy Drama! And Cuba Libre's? That uptight Dude needs a new cool beverage to drink.

Then a lady ran into me with her cart. "oh sorry" I said, like it was my fault, then I helped her pick up the stuff she knocked over and she looked at me and said thanks, she had a bad day. She thought I was going to yell at her. I said, well it can only get better now. I smiled at her. And she smiled back then rushed off with a look of exhaustion in her eyes.
I stopped there for a moment and watched people rush around like mad, fight and skulk about and even though I had about a 1000 things still to do and it was already 8 p.m. I felt this calm sort of serene feeling...what is that, I wondered.

And I am startled to discover it is happiness. and contentment. I know that sounds silly, and it's not like I haven't been happy before, don't get me wrong, but a sustained period of elation can really catch you off guard. And this time it's different because everything in my life happens to be coming at me all at once and I should be cowering in a corner in a panic...but I'm not. I blame this on all the things I have to look forward to in the upcoming month and the really incredible year unfolding around me. I had an epiphany...I can't control life so now I am just so excited for what's next. It's a Castaway moment for sure (yay pop culture)...Tom Hanks in the middle of that 4 way stop...You never know what the next wave will bring. All I know is how fucking grateful I am for all the things in my life. How happy I feel right now, in this moment.
Tomorrow is a huge day for me. I plan to celebrate it by going with my #yegmusicclub to see Black Keys, who I have been dying to see live. Nothing like live music to elevate you even higher. Then next week (next week!) I am going to see U2 again with the most incredible people from around the globe. I've never been this excited to go stand and wait in a huge queue.

"Oh, it’s my road and it’s my war..."

I have Young The Giant stuck in my head today so that will be the Song Du Jour:

Friday, June 17, 2011

"It's not what you're dreaming, but what you're gonna do"

I got to take public transit this week! My car decided (in the pouring rain, on the Henday) that the Wiper Blade motor Linkage should break and then the check engine light came on. It was one of those moments...I could not pull over and needed to make it to the nearest mechanic. So I did my best to stay calm...got off on 87 Avenue and took the back roads, stopping every couple of blocks to manually clean the windshield. This must have looked hilarious. After that my whole day was derailed, but I managed to get through without freaking out at all. I mean what can you do right?

It has been a long time since I took the bus, and it wasn't half bad. I mean sure I had to transfer twice and run for both connections, but it only took me 40 minutes to get to work. For ETS, that's impressive. I like having all that time to listen to music and think. I have lots to think about right now. Lots. Do you ever find yourself having to make giant decisions and you just can't? I feel oddly contradictory this week. I have to find a new car, a process I am dreading and although I really want a more reliable car, but I sure don't want to have to pay for it. It's a weird feeling. I know I need a car...really my whole life is organized around being able to get places that have no transit service...but I have really, just recently, considered not buying a new one. Think of all the money I could save each month and I could go travelling more. But is that worth months of no car in a city that you need one? hmmm....
It's a giant decision. I thought once I was forced into it...well I thought making this decision would be easier. Turns out it's not. I need more time.

I am also working on a series of blog posts from my U2 week, including the gig bit of the Edgemonton show and my first hardcore GA and front row experience...oh and all of Seattle which was seriously so much fun. I will get around to posting them soon. I did something a bit different and took a journal with me on my trips, then actually wrote my adventures down in it. I know. So 1990's. I kinda really enjoyed it.
It's also not a public blog so I put a lot of good stuff in there. Which none of you get to read. Sorry. But because it is all written down I feel very lazy about blogging it, actually. It's lovely to have things to look forward too, I can't believe how lucky I am...well you know relatively speaking, the car business is just a blip on the screen, I hope.

Song Du Jour Summer Rain by U2

"It's not why you're running
It's where you're going
It's not what you're dreaming
But what you're gonna do
It's not where you're born
It's where you belong
It's not how weak
But what will make you strong..."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

U2360 Edgemonton "Begging to get back to my heart, to the rthym of my soul.."

From the GA:

I fell asleep under a make shift lean to supplied by my mates in line, and got about 5 minutes of sleep. I kept dreaming I was trying to sleep under the chairs in a medicentre waiting room. Surrounded by fans chatting and visiting their conversations were creeping into my subconscious.
After 3 hours of trying to sleep I heard someone ask for hj from the atU2 boards. I heard my line mates tell her that I was sleeping and could she come back later. She said she was Garden Tart and I poked my head up...I really wanted to meet her, she drove up from Calgary and we'd been friends on the boards for years. I think it was 8:30 a.m.

I gathered myself up, ran my brush through my hair and brushed my teeth, camping style. It was next to impossible to be worried about how I looked so I thought, screw it, and just got on with it. Who needs sleep when there is all this excitement going on. It was gig day! I had waited 581 days to see this concert!! Everybody was excited!

The day FLEW by. I can barely remember meeting all the people who came to introduce themselves. We organized and got our red and white balloons ready to distribute.

By 10:30 I was taking my first break, home to shower, pack some stuff back with me from GA and get lunch. I got back in line at 11:30. I felt like a new person after that shower.I was ready for the gig. We took turns numbering the rest of the fans. We stopped at 850.

By 2:30 the security folks were already passing out mixed info. They gave us 5 minutes to pack up our stuff and many fans missed it. Some of the top 50 in line lost their spots. It was very disorganized and a huge let down after all we had done to try to communicate with Commonwealth. They moved us into a short line, side by side, and we waited. And waited. It was the most anxious time. But we tried to keep our spirits up and we took a group photo:

Then a lady came out and told us very specific instructions. They would open 3 gates and we would proceed down aisle M. Then she came out and told us something different. We were all very concerned because it seemed like they had no idea what they were doing.

And they didn't have any idea what they were doing, it was clear. When the gates opened, many fans tickets would not scan. People from the back pushed forward in a surge, once we got in we headed for M like we'd been told only to be yelled at for that...and told we were going the wrong way. Massive confusion and it caused a panic. I looped back to the end zone stairs and ran down them. No one stopped me, it could have been very dangerous. We ran across the field. I pretended to be Calvin McCarty and ran that 110 yards for a touchdown faster than I think I have ever run in my life. It was a giant loop to get into the inner circle, my heart pounding, my adrenaline pumping. One usher, she tried to tell me I could not enter the turn style, she was wrong and had been given the WRONG information, so I pushed past her and carried on. (I felt really bad about that and went back to apologize later) I rounded the corner only to see all my line mates, panic on their faces, running towards me, Commonwealth had closed the gates on Adam Side so they all had to run around to Edge Side.

Commonwealth managed to make it the WORST GA I have ever been a part of. They are just lucky no one got hurt. When it all stopped...I realized I had grabbed a rail and just sat down­. We all took a moment. WHEW! I was inner circle, front row, between The Edge and Bono. HOLY SHIT!

I needed a beer.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

U2360EDM "Faraway, So close up with the static and the radio"

Woke up Tuesday Morning and knew I should get out to the Commonwealth right away, just in case the line up for GA (The general Admission line) had started. I went for a run, had a quick shower, ate breakfast and thought, I have plenty of time, I will be back home soon and can get my stuff packed. But I packed my chair and umbrella....just in case.

If there is one thing I have learned this week it is be flexible when it comes to GA. After 18 months of planning, you just have to roll with it. I pulled into the parking space at commonwealth, it was a flurry of activity. Trucks were lined up and the inner claw works were just being put up from Winnipeg. They seemed to be behind a bit. I rounded the corner and the GA line had started. They were already giving out numbers. It's was 9:44 a.m. the day before the gig. I had to make a decision. Get in line now? Come back later? I asked GA Joe what his rules were. Took it all in and decided I was in. I got my number.

#12! Never thought I would be that close. It a split second I realized...this was it, my chance had come to be front row for U2. Then I called my friends and told them to hustle down to get their numbers too! I went back to my car and got my chair...thank god I jammed it in the trunk!

I sat myself down and had a moment of "what the hell am I doing? How did I end up here?"

Really, if you told me I would wait more than a day in line for any band I would have laughed at you. And yet...there I was.

Getting to be number 12 means many things. First off, you earn that number. You have deal with the constant media attention, it's like being in a fish tank. You get to meet all the other people in line behind you. We all took turns giving out numbers and explaining the rules, answering a billion questions....well actually it's just the same 3 questions over and over.

It also meant a full 2 days of perhaps the most fun I have had. Sitting around waiting and chatting with U2 fans from all over. It's nice to be able to talk about U2 without having to explain shit. These people, this travelling band of GA family members, they just get it.

I may have been in my home town, but in that GA line I felt like I had finally come home...to a place where everyone knows your name and shares the passion you have. I took a break from 1-2 and went back home and got together all my stuff. Thankfully, I had organized that before I left for Winnipeg. So all I had to do was pack the cooler and load up my car. I got back in line and thought I would be leaving again, but as it turned out, that is where I stayed for the next 14 hours. You'd think it would drag right? Nope. All of a sudden it my reinforcements were there with supper. I looked at my watch and it was almost 6 p.m.

Friends came to visit. The other U2 fans who had seats or Red Zone tickets came by to say hi. It was flying by!

We would take walks around Commonwealth to see the claw build in action. By 8 p.m. a tent city was forming as we all nestled in for a chilly evening. Everybody was having a great time, so many friendly faces and we laughed and laughed. After dark we could see they were doing the light checks on the stage so we walked around again just before midnight. When I saw the Claw all lit up, my tummy did a little flip and I realized this was going to be such an incredible gig. There is nothing like seeing U2 at home. My line mates were so amazing. A kind gentleman, who shall remain nameless, may have snuck some Guinness into the line...which he shared with me. Sitting there sharing a pint...I will never forget that.

I went to sleep for 2 hours then Ernesto, who took the first shift, woke me so I could take the 2nd one - 2:30-5:30 shift. I did it so that Joe (#1) and Christopher (#2) could get a good night sleep, they deserved it, and I figured I would get to sleep during the day. Sitting there in the dark, listening to the wind rustle the trees, and the gentle idling of the trucks, and the cars whooshing by I thought of how lucky I was. I was cosy and packed into my sleeping bag with my touque and mits to keep me warm. I passed the time by listening to music and tweeting. Roll call for the GA was at 7 a.m. By 5:30 we had almost 150 in line.

"I know I'm going home, that's where the heart is.."

Having just touched down after Winnipeg I had the day to get ready to do it all again.
Quickly got ready for the giant fan gathering we planned at O'Byrne's and returned to the airport to pick up my fellow U2 gypsies. When I returned to the West jet parkade, the same driver from the a.m. recognized me. I doubt they get a lot of customers returning on the same day.

Even though I had just seen them it was nice to see Dave and LJ and welcome Dave from York and Cathal from Derry to Edgemonton. I dropped them off at the hotel and then made my way to O'Byrne's.

At first we seemed a little coy to get up and sing in front of eachother. Perhaps afraid to butcher some of our favourite songs. So thanks to the Regina crew, LJ and Dave got us started, so did the pints. We had a blast. The highlight of my night was a duet with my new friend Cathal. We both are ginger kids so we got up together to perform Angel of Harlem, which hence forth shall be named "Ginger of Harlem", because when ever we heard it from that point on, we totally changed the lyrics.

I knew then that this U2 week was going to be the best week of my life and that I best hang on and enjoy the ride. By 11:30 I was so tired I had to call it a night because I knew the next morning would be filled with GA and wanted to get an early start!

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Let me in the Sound" Winnipeg U2360

Dreams came true this weekend! It may have been a butterfly inducing wait but the U2 360 show in Winnipeg was worth every second of that insane anticipation!
I left on Saturday morning for Winnipeg and once I arrived it was full steam ahead. We went to the stadium, it still stuns me to see the stage built-- as we walked around we stopped to talk to the people in GA line, then we went to a fan gathering at Shannon's Irish pub where I met such incredible people. U2 fans prove to be, on the whole, intelligent, inspiring and gracious! We partied until we knew we should get to bed...only one more sleep!

I woke up early, GIG DAY! Too excited to go back to bed I went down to the pool for a quick swim to start the day off well. From our hotel room you could see the claw, the stage U2 builds in each city, and that gave us a ton of entertainment. From the pool I could see it too..and it was hard not to feel just a tiny bit guilty thinking of all those freezing fans in the General Admission line up. It was rather chilly in Winnipeg so GA was a bit of a challenge, and I was very aware of how lucky I was to have Red Zone tickets.

After the swim we went for breakfast and to pick up our wristbands. There is such energy around the stadium leading up to the show. Many people ask you questions, fans introduce themselves, strangers stop and talk to each other and find they either met on line at some point or know the fans you know through other fans. It really is proving to be a wonderful community of fans and we had a blast with them.

We returned to stand in the Red Zone line, we arrived first which was exciting so we started the line. Plenty of giggles while we waited. It went by super fast too...and then the band arrived and I was standing on the curb whenBono, with his window rolled down, drove past and as they slowed down I said, Hi Bono! He gave me a wave and they pulled in and started to sound check.

We waited, I got so nervous...it was such an odd feeling! We got to our spots with no difficulty...it almost seemed too easy. Then the wait. The Fray opened.
Then a flurry of activity and the butterflies started. The anticipation built up and every time the song on the PA would end I was hoping the next one would be Space Oddity, and then it finally came!
And then there they were!
Even Better Than The Real Thing was like a fist in your chest it was such a great opener!
I Will Follow made me bounce and that song live still, after all these years, manages to make me feel like I am a teenager again.

Get On Your Boots featured a very nice Canadian theme and was pumped up on the bass.
Magnificent was performed with a new intro...It was Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, who Bono referred to as The Arch. LOL! But there was no video just the audio. They were having a tough go of things in Willie Williams land. We forgave them for spelling it "Winipeg" and for calling the province a State by accident. Everything else made up for that about a 1000 times over.

Mysterious Ways, Elevation, Until The End Of The World were so good because they were so well received by the audience, they were jet engine LOUD! I was so proud of my fellow Canadians (and many other nations) when they cheered that loudly! It was intense and we loved it!

All I Want Is You came a shocker for me as I had been ignoring set list for the last 5shows and had no idea it was coming. At the beginning TheEdge was having guitar problems so Bono said they had a "new" tech, and intro'dspan> Dallas Schoo. It was funny and light. Actually Dallas was the only one who got an intro, Bono must have forgot that bit as he never gave us the fun of his band intro'sspan>.

Then after the emotional tide of All I want is You washed over us...I was stunned again. I have never heard anything off the album Zooropa and Stay is a song that means a lot to me. A lot. I was praying I would hear it and imagined they MIGHT play it later this summer in Montreal...but I didn't have to wait for July!

Stay, Faraway So Close! Which made me bawl...god I LOVE that song.
"If I could stay.. then the night would give you up>Stay, and the day would keep it’s trust
Stay, and the night would be enough"

The lyrics are heartwrenching and even now, typing this, I well up. That a song that reminds me of a time when...you know...you can't let go and are clinging to the hope it is not over because your heart aches? Yeah...the emotions bubbled up as soon as Bono started to sing. The harmony Edge adds...JAYSUS...that is an incredible voice, so haunting and emotive.

Then came around right in front of us. Then he looked at me and to my left and reached his hand out to the girl next to me and to her delight she got hauled up on stage with her friend.

The two girls and Bono read the lyrics to You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, but the one girl got so flustered--it was so sweet--and Bono was such a gentlemen. He helped them both down and bust into Beautiful Day!

Then came the sing along and Pride followed by a riveting performace of Miss Sarajevo, how the hell Bono sings that...well, it is amazing live. He does the opera parts and to hear his voice change and hit that high note...well, L'Amour indeed!

Then came Zooropa and I jumped up and down when I heard it! They pulled the screen down to it's max and only lit up the inside of it where the band performed in near darknes. It added such intensity to it because it felt deep and dark, even mysterious. They have new jackets that light up and those looked great!

The 3 sparks of City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo and Crazy Tonight with a snippet of Discothèque brought the whole place to its feet! Spectacular!
Then Sunday Bloody Sunday followed by a song of OCTOBER! My first...lots of Firsts; Zooropa and October songs, the first time they ever played them in Candada. Scarlet was ethereal and Bono took a chance to tell us about Aung San Suu Kyi and her freedom and moved me with the passion in his voice, it truly is amazing she is free. Cue Walk On and we all sang Happy Birthday in honour of Amnesty International's 50th Birthday at the end of May.

One was very moving with a very inspiring speech by Aung San Suu Kyi. Her harrowing fight for her country is not over but she thanked us and reminded us that we all have a voice. One led right into Streets and I braced myself for it. Possible the best live song I have ever seen, and it gives me goosebumps everytime without fail. The whole place lit up red and I'm pretty sure we all bounced together, even the people up in the bleeds!
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me and With Or Without You were the icing on the cake, they either ran out of time before Moment of Surrender or it was just too cold (Edge and Larry both put on scarves and outerwear, as the wind was cutting)

Lights up and there is that familiar exilaration that comes and you can see it on the face of those around you. As we left crews were already hastily pulling it all apart. I know they got to get it to the next destination, but they sure don't fuck about. WOW!

I'm already SO pumped to see it all again in 2 more sleeps. I love my life.

Song Du Jour: Stay, Faraway So Close Live in Sydney from the ZooTV tour.
**I will post pics once I can get my computer to cooperate.