The Dan Andriano Adventure aka How to spend $500 on a $14 ticket

So I’ve written previously about my love affair with Alkaline Trio, Dan Adriano’s voice and songs specifically and how he was coming to Chicago on the 24th of September and I wanted to go.  Originally I was all stoked because I thought it was in the get my boobs out and ride a jaguar bar, alas I was mistaken.. It was simply at Bottom Lounge and the ticket cost all of $14. Dan is touring in support of his Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room  Hurricane solo debut. Which is fabulous because it is all Dan all the time.   And also fabulous because maybe, just maybe, just mayyyybeeeeee he’d play something anything at ALL from This Addiction.   I’ll rip the band aid right off you now and tell you he did NOT in fact play a damn thing off that album.   Sigh… one of these days I will win the lottery and bring those dudes to a local venue and make them play that album for me and a few hundred friends.

Bottom  Lounge is a 4 hour drive away.  Which means that in order to attend this event I have to in order of preference…. a-find an overnight sitter so The Husband and I can both go b-find a friend who can stay overnight and pickup the hotel c- drive up and back with a friend d- drive up and spend the night by myself and get some shopping in e- drive up and back by myself .  I think all of those situations had been in play multiple times before I had finally given up on Friday that I was not going to make it to the show.    Saturday morning I woke up  ready for a weekend of absolutely NOTHING.   The whole weekend lay before me like a beautiful blank canvas of possibility. Oh the projects I could  finish, or start, or plan to start. The book I could lounge and read, the garden I could putter in. The possibilities were endless.   I lounged in bed with The husband snuggling and such until well after 9:30.  I came down after a shower for a yummy breakfast sandwich.  As I stood at the island eating,  reading the  paper  and chatting with the love of my life about missing the concert later he says to me.

“I’ve got an idea but it’s crazy”

Right away I know where this is going, and it’s likely going to be spontaneous, a tad chaotic and expensive.  Now we aren’t made of money, but you don’t need to have much money to sometimes have more money than sense.

“What is it?”

“Why don’t we all go up there and  take the kids someplace and  I’ll stay in the room and watch the kids while you go to the concert”

At this point is is 10:30AM EST, the concert starts at 7:30PM CST and the doors open at 6:30PM CST.  I munch my egg sandwich thoughtfully.

Then we enter into the period known as discussion.  It basically goes like this and lasts another 30-45 minutes because the conversation goes in spurts and we each move about the house doing whatever else is it we need to do on Saturday morning.

“That is bat shit crazy talk”

“Can we make it happen?”

“Let’s try to make it happen”

This is where Mommy gets to play make the magic happen.  Disney doesn’t have a damn thing on me.  I play this game all the time at work, it’s my job. I used to do this all the time pre AD.  The major difference between then and now is now I get help making that magic happen at home. The Husband solved the Nanny, the kid packing and the Lexus oil change, while I handled the budget, the tickets,  the hotel and the dog coverage.

3 hours later we are all in the Lexus (I guess I could just call it the car now since  I sold the Mazda for $1200 I’ve already spent and good bottle of vodka I am likely to never see)  and headed to Chi town.  The plan morphed several times since inception but landed on.

Drive the kids up to Chicago, let them swim in a pool for 30 minutes, ditch them with a Nanny service for the evening while we go to the concert and have a nice evening out.  We arrive at the hotel room at 4:45 CST.  The Nanny comes at 6:00 and we head down to catch a cab to  Bottom Lounge where we are going to eat and watch the show. This was the very first trip our kids have been on with us that was NOT all about something for them.  They have been to both Disneys, the one in Florida multiple times. They have been to water parks and coaster parks and Lego parks.   They have been to Zoo’s and Children’s Museums and  rainy crowded festivals with people in character costumes.   But they have never been told go pack your stuff and the most exciting thing you can hope for is a hotel pool and a nanny.   Turns out this is pretty exciting for them after all. They really got a kick out of seeing the windmill farms and the city skyline and the very very crowded streets.  They thought it was super cool to have Nanny C come and take them to dinner on a little adventure of their own, bring them back to watch a movie in their big hotel bed and fall asleep.   Gas $60  Tickets $38 Hotel $150 Parking $35  Nanny+ dinner for kids $190  Dinner and drinks for Mommy and Daddy…well you get the picture.

Now  I should take a step back here and let you in on a little secret. I can’t deal with too much chaos for too long without needing some way to let all the anxiety is causes me out.   Bat shit crazy spur of the moment ideas almost always end up in me needed to shed some emotions at some point in time, especially if they have lots of moving parts and things to consider and cover, which they always do.   I thrive on the excitement in some ways, I like delivering under pressure, but pressure is a funny thing. It has to be released or it builds too high and causes issues.   This blog has chronicled many ways in which I  shed emotions and hormones, but we haven’t gotten to  one.

Having  a good/spar/spat/fight with your spouse.   All of this stress finally comes to a head  as we enter the cab and discover it is NOT a credit card cab.  YES, I KNOW by city code they are all required by law to take the credit cards. Someone needs to tell them that is all I’m saying.  This is really no issue though b/c the driver tells me it’s less than $10 where we are going.  Great I say and I tell The Husband.  Who informs me he has about $5.  I absolutely lose my shit because I had just asked him upstairs if I needed to bring cash ( I had plenty)  in my jeans and he said no so I brought a $20 bill and that was it.   I was expecting YOU to take care of the cabs I snarl.  Remember our finances still remain separate.

Now let’s step out of the heat of battle for a moment and analyze this.  We have our tickets, the venue takes cards, there is likely the ability to find an ATM and get cash one we get there should we have to. There is plenty of cash in that cab between the two of us that this doesn’t have to be a big deal. Oh but it is…….

It’s a big deal because this is an easy and old stress fight to fall  back on.  This particular flavor of adventure stress is like in the top 5 of Lola and The Husband repeatable go to arguments and spats.   We go through the motions, he escalates , I spit back. He spits I snarl back.   This is the first couple of minutes of the cab ride also so the driver gets to be in on the joy and I’m trying to get my stupid seat belt buckled and the clip is acting like I’m trying to take it’s anal virginity without asking first or lube.  I fling it back towards the door and it makes a really loud clank on the window.   Now there is only  silence in the cab.

“What’s that?”

“Seat belt wouldn’t stick”

“You crack window?”

” Nope not even close, it’s really strong”  is about the best I can muster to move us all along to another subject

Great, now I’ve pissed off another cab driver here.  I’m going to get a rep.

Then a take a moment and start to look around this cab I’m at the cooling off period of my fight in.    It has all the required signs about taking visa etc. the license all that.   But this dude has his groceries in the back seat behind my head and all over the lining in front and above my head at these push pins, with pictures of people and stuff.   Including a couple of hand written signs pinned OVER the regulation stuff that say things like  I don’t REALLY take credit cards and this is an independent cab.

This cab cab looks like the inside of PJ’s probable secret room off/under the garage is what I’m saying.   And I don’t mean in an “I am Batman” way. I start to have a moment of panic, this dude is mad and he’s totally going to take us to an abandoned building and rape and kill us.    And then the universe provides me with a perfect opportunity, another cab cuts us off in traffic.

“He didn’t even signal before he cut you off did he?”

This opens up dialog for all of us to go on about what a noob d-bag the OTHER cab driver is and we safely arrive at our destination without anal raping or murder. The Husband pays the guys with my $20 and we both unspokenly know the fight is over and forgotten.  This is how it works in long term relationships, fights can sometimes just be fights and nothing more.   It’s been a while since we were in a place where a fight can just be a fight, and it feels glorious.

We  check in and get wrist bands, get seated and have amazing yummy dinner.  No kidding the menu here is awesome and I’d like to go back just to try some more things on it.   I settle for the Brie and beer onion burger and tater tots.  The Husband gets Stilton and bacon burger and onion rings.  I’m drinking vanilla vodka and diet cokes, my fall drink. He is hitting the beers.  We eat and go in for the last half or so of Elway, who was awesome. Followed by Dave Hause who was amazingly awesome.  Both new bands for me and both must haves.   I walk in and walk right to to whatever open spot I like in the middle and my body guard/husband follows me.    By the time Dan is on I’m literally feet away from him and the music.  Dan did an amazing job but I made zero new friends because the little chatty d-bags next to me didn’t like it when the tall girl told them to STFU.

Dude had a Finch T on,  so I tried to let it go for a bit, but I made magic happen to get there and I didn’t talk through HIS guy.   The Husband says he didn’t even worry,  my eyes cleared both their heads and I don’t play when I’m pissed.  The made do with texting about what a cuntress I was for the rest of the show..in silence.  Evil grin.

The set was great, I am learning to appreciate the lyrics of a lot of Dan’s songs on a deeper level the more I hear them. And while at a live show I tend to listen  more intently than say in the car while driving or while writing.  I mean it when I say that man’s voice is like salve to my soul. I’m a tiny little bit in love with him in a non creepy way of course.

It was sadly an all ages show and had to end at  ten.  It was also sad because we could of brought the kids and they would of loved it, though it would of been far less enjoyable for the two of us.    MiniMe and The Destroyer have been getting a real music education since Mommy decided listening to her music was better than radio Disney any day. I had to deal as a kid, they can too.  We stuck around for a a a bit and then walked for a bit and then caught a cab back to  Nanny C and the sleeping children.   Yesterday morning we got up and drove home in mostly rain.   I am still catching up but it was all worth it.  Now If I can just figure out how to get him to sing me some things off of  This Addiction…..



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