Have you ever had one of those adventures that was amazing not because of anything it particular that happened, but because it was a freak occurrence of proper universe alignment that made it all happen in the first place? One of those nights that starts out as a maybe, a do I want to, should I and ends up at this was SOOOOOO meant to be thank you GOD!!!. This was me last night, at my first concert alone, Incubus!
Things working against the universe:
I’ve been a concert freak this year already: If we go this is concert #9, the gild is starting to fall off the Lilly on my sordid affair with live shows this year. I’m not quite to GW half life level yet, but the staggering amount of money spent of shows, sitters, hotels and alcohol is starting to get to me with Birthdays and Holidays coming on the horizon. Plus The Husband and I saw them in 08. So it’s not like I haven’t crossed them off the list.
- Jimmy Eat World
- Motley Crue
- Alkaline Trio
- Alkaline Trio yep twice in two nights
- Journey, Foreigner, Night Ranger
- Train, Maroon 5
- Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow
- Jack’s Mannequin is next
I’m overscheduled: I originally thought the date of the concert was next Tuesday. Not only is this a school night, it is also a group run night, and I am going to the Jack’s Mannequin concert on Monday.
The potential for disappointment is high: Cake and Incubus are both bands that The Husband and I love. Both released new albums this year and both were personally disappointing to The Husband. Cake was a phone in C- level effort for me, the Incubus I found a few songs I absolutely loved on, but it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped for. I am still slightly tainted by the disappointment that Alkaline Trio didn’t play anything from This Addiction.
There was waffling between The Husband and me over this concert. Our finances remain separate after reconciliation ( I love it this way) and though the Incubus discussion had occurred several times, no one was running to empty their bank account further for two tickets or get a sitter or figure out the crazy scheduling that would be required to make this concert happen on a school and run night. It quite frankly was looking like it was not meant to be.
The emotional crux of the situation:
But for some reason I hadn’t ruled it out in my heart yet. I think I like Incubus a little better than The Husband. Drive and Stellar are big songs for us as a couple, but overall he and the SIL are into the harder stuff from the earlier albums. I like some of that too but I am much more emotionally connected to songs like Wish You Were Here or Promises, Promises or Warmth or Dig or…you get the point. I was motivated to start a funeral play list for myself by Incubus Wish You Were Here. Mostly because of the line And in this moment I am happy. On point I absolutely love this band and hearing them live is a very in the moment transfixed by the music and the emotions time for me.
The Universe starts to shift: Who else is picturing the moving parts of the map in Game of Thrones opening sequence??
Saturday night BGC attended Kid Rock with husbands in tow. While there they are selling Incubus tickets for $15. Which is compelling in itself, but the kicker is that the show date is yesterday, not next Tuesday. This removes one of the obstacles. It no longer makes it two concerts in two nights week. I point it out but The Husband is just not feeling it. So I ask if maybe I can ask my friend who works at Live Nation to get me in by myself for free that night and I’ll go by myself. He is open to this and so I file it away under options. But I’m still not compelled to do anything about making this happen. It’s not really in the front of my mind for the rest of the weekend. There are too many other things competing for my time and attention right now and I find that I am literally living my life in about 36 hours increments. It’s like extreme rolling wave planning over here and I can’t seem to get ahead. Which explains why I forgot Meet the Teacher night at school was Monday night until about oh 4pm. It seems some time pruning is going to be in order but for now anyway the plan is to continue to just go like gangbusters until I hit a wall. I know I should just run on Tuesday night come home and take care of something anything on the to do list. Like maybe that Thursday post I still haven’t written.
Yesterday I got up early, showered, packed a run bag and went to the office. Lunch was spent running to the local sporting goods store to buy a new pair of Brooks. I have to break them in before the 13.1 next Saturday. It was during lunch that it finally hit me. I’m going to kick myself over and over if I don’t go to that show. I have no fear of going to that show by myself, and if my friend can get me in for free it would all be worth it. If I can make it work under those conditions then I’ll go. I’ll do my downtown run, speed home and maybe shower but def change, meet him there at 9 when Incubus should be going on and then hope traffic isn’t bad getting home. I decide I’m going for it. I will see if I can get the universe to align.
The Universe Aligns:
I text my friends wife and beg for the favor. I haven’t used this favor before and he is fairly open with it so I keep my fingers crossed.
He usually has to request the tix the day before and have them held at will call
But he can do it, he’s in
All I have to do now is somehow run, eat something get ready and get cash for parking all prior to 9.
I’m supposed to run at about 6:40, at 5:15 at the office it really looks like rain. I bought new shoes and packed the rain maker outfit to run in, of course it’s going to rain on my run.
I check the radar, it’s a pretty big wide front and we are on the first edge of it, there is red and yellow coming but it will only be green radar colored thunderstorms if I run NOW.
I decide at 5:21 that I’m going for it. If I’m going to get wet anyway I’m not waiting until 7pm to do it. I’m taking the bull by the horns heading out now, stay close to work and get my 4.0 in.
For the next 19 minutes there is the chaos of my running skirt is in my car in the lot, I am on the 2nd floor and the bathrooms are closed for cleaning I don’t have the right badge, keys, clothes with me to be able to change just yet.
FINALLY I get my 4.0 in and change into dry comfies at the office to drive home barefoot.
Meanwhile The Husband tells me a buddy of his that I know has scored tix to the show and will be there on the VIP deck. It occurs to me once I get home that I’d like to not have to drive there and back. If I can get his buddy to take me home maybe I can get my Live Nation friend to take me there. I ask for the buddy’s cell phone number, ask for the ride home and score, he’ll do it. All the while I am racing around like a mad woman changing back into my work clothes, bling Jeans and a ruffly tank top, sans shower, letting my got soaked running in a pony tail hair dry and hope it doesn’t turn out too crazy. Make-up is confined to get raccoon mask off skin and declump eyelashes from rain run.
At 8:06 I text my friends wife again and ask her if he can take me up there with him.
8:21 he can, he’s ready whenever I am just tell him when.
Text updates from the buddy at the venue report the opening act is over
8:40 we go, park for free in half full lot and walk the ½+ mile from the lot to the entrance very very quickly while they come on stage and open with Pardon Me.. I can’t see it but it’s clear as hell and I know this song. I sing the lyrics under my breath as we walk and talk. It’s going to be a good show if this is the opener. Life is good.
As we are walking he’s telling me about how in the 11 years he has had this perk he’s never seen Incubus. And he thought about having them hold tix for him yesterday but was iffy on going and didn’t want to request them and not use them. I had provided an excuse to come to the show. He is going to stay for a few songs and then head back home.
We are almost to the entrance and they start playing Wish You Were Hear. I scream out loud, “Oh this is my song” and two girls behind me scream out this is our song too. We giggle and share a little bit.
He checks in for what we think will be lawn passes and instead are handed tickets in the upper pavilion. This is just getting better and better. This is my 4th trip here this summer and my first seat in the pavilion.
We stand in the always at least 5 times longer than it should be line to get in and I’m just listening to wish you were here, and swaying and tearing up a bit. It won’t be the first time I cry at this show, I just have emotional reactions to live music of songs I really connect with. It’s not like sobbing crying, it’s more like somehow tears are just falling while I’m so happily listening and being transported elsewhere, crying. It’s hard to explain but it also happens in church almost every Sunday, it stops before or as soon as the song ends. 🙂
I tell him I’m buying him a beer as a thank you, even though I’ve been ridiculously gushing the whole time about how thankful I truly am to be here.
We score the beers, and I get a look at the lawn, it’s packed. There are a heck of a lot more people here than what it looks like in the parking lot.
Seats are awesome, I love the lawn but the pavilion has concrete, and your own space, and speakers in the back of you that music comes out of, I can actually see the stage instead of getting a view of it on the big screen. I took some crappy pics with my iphone just to show you the difference in view between the lawn and the pavilion.
And then they play Promises, Promises, complete with a video that has a racing cars on the road vibe..
As I’m screaming my heart out “I’m on the road of least resistance” it hit’s me. This is the perfect adventure. .
I’m here when I wasn’t supposed to be. I’m here for free, parking was free, I didn’t have to drive there or home. Because of me he gets to see the band for a bit and I get to have a transition of a person I know for a bit before I enjoy the rest of the concert dancing and singing and fist pumping and shaking my hair with strangers. It’s Incubus, the show is a good one and the night could not get any better. Well, it would have been nice to have The Husband there during Drive and Stellar, but it’ll do just fine.
I am where I am in THIS moment because of the choices I made to get here and the help of the perfect alignment of the universe.
PS- The Husbands buddy is a get out of the lot rock star and I was home complaining about how my left foot is trying to get a stress fracture and eating a dinner of cherry cobbler and frozen custard by 11pm. Tonight I will take a look at the long list of things that are due in the next 36 hours…. You might not want to hold your breath for tomorrow’s post to arrive at 7am on the dot.
Metro in Chicago is this old, architecturally astounding like maybe 1200 person venue. There is a very small main floor and an even smaller balcony. This is the midwest in August in a record heat wave. It is HOTTER THAN A MOFO in that place. But it is worth it to see a band so close. The sound could be a little better, I had a horrible time understanding what Matt was singing both nights if it wasn’t a song that I knew inside and out. I never have a hard time understanding what Dan is saying. His singing voice is like salve to my heart. The problem wasn’t Matt though, it was me. I’ve still got some listening to do. Alkaline Trio has been around for 15 years but I’ve only been a fan for about 1. Alkaline Trio got their start in Chicago. This is their town, this is their venue, this is where it all started for them. This is their 15th Anniversary Show and they brought along the Smoking Popes and River City Extension for the ride. And even though both are bands I’d never heard both are really good bands. Metro is non smoking inside, which has to be not only for air quality but also safety because I am telling you that place is tiny. The bar is cash only and this is how the drinks are poured.
The double s are poured like shots. It’s more like fill a 20oz glass full of ice and vodka and then put a splash of diet coke on top for color. I can only assume that the singles are poured like doubles. I wouldn’t really know, but here is what I did find out. A half empty stomach, a very hot club, and 3 of the Metros doubles from hell will make you have to leave the show in the middle of Clavicle the first night.
We had already left too late from the hotel earlier that night and encountered Paul McCartney concert traffic. We arrived to the club near the end of the Smoking Popes set but still got very good floor near the back standing room. We also both had really high expectations for seeing this band that connects us as a couple. I offered to take one for the team and stay in the form of “I’m ready when you are”. I must of looked pretty awful on our way out because security gave me a whole bottle of water. Then I remember some puking on a cab with my head hanging out the window. Metro is in a big bar district which has to make puking pretty common right? At least I am a considerate drunk and it wasn’t IN the cab. I usually make a plan and tell somebody else what the plan is and stick to it for my liquor. I failed to adjust my plan on the strength of the drinks and the heat. And I paid the price. On the upside we had tickets for both nights and Monday night was the earlier show. I was passed out in my hotel room before 11pm. . I dragged my hungover butt out of bed on Tuesday morning at 8:30 for the 4 mile runnsihmostlywalk along the lake with The Husband while I got a lecture I deserved on what should probably be done differently on night two.
We had a nice lazy day involving nothing more than a yummy brunch that I wished I had more of an appetite for and a long aimless walk around Millennium Park. Dinner was an awesome little Mexican place right across the street from Metro and we got there in plenty of time to line up with the crowd before the doors opened. This gave us a spot right on the rail of the balcony where I remained without leaving once to pee or drink anything for the rest of the night. So we were able to rock on from start to finish and then head back to the hotel to bed. And this time no one puked on the cab.
Overall I’d say this show experience was bittersweet for us. Alkaline Trio has been a band for 15 years, but is a new band for us. The Husband found them via This Addiction on Faction. That led him to deeper research and Radio, his I should fuck off and die song during the worst of the almost divorce. He later turns me on to This Addiction album. At some point I tell him about how much I love Alkaline Trio and he leads me to Radio for myself. So it could be my fuck off and die song for PJ. There is no happier tune to angrier lyrics ever written. C-Lo Green’s Fuck You pales in comparison to Radio . Yet they didn’t play it either night. Radio is lyrical genius. It wasn’t awkward getting music from The Husband during the almost divorce. We had a mostly amicable almost divorce, you might even say it was fairly civilized. Which means it still sucked gigantic donkey balls but was made slightly more tolerable by the fact that we could still connect. They also didn’t play a single solitary thing from This Addiction either night. So we had gone to two shows hoping to hear any of our songs we most love live, and missed hearing a majority if them because they weren’t played. Monday night someone in the crowd had a set list on an iphone so we had already been delivered the disappointment that we wouldn’t be hearing anything from This Addiction. All the music was great because AK3 is an awesome band, but it just wasn’t going to be a legendary spectacular concert adventure night. It was just a show we missed some of. Which I know disappointed both of us. We both love this band, it connects us in a weird sort of healing way. All of the hate has long since evaporated for both of us but we BOTH wanted to hear Radio, and we might of missed it. Tuesday night they didn’t play it either but we left left feeling much better. We agreed on the cab ride home that we had more listening to do. But we both love the band enough to keep doing that listening and catch them another time when we can better sing along to the earlier stuff. I’d even like to go see Dan at that lady riding a jaguar place, but it’s on a week night and a long drive. Maybe I could listen to this on the way up…It’s a live version of Radio at Metro Playing a Halloween Show in 2002. Nice make-up there Matt. I think I like the shirt and tie from Monday night best. 🙂
08/18 update- Dan Andriano is playing 9-24 and not at the jaguar place…oops
I went away this week to Chicago with The Husband. We saw both Alkaline Trio shows at The Metro. There is no and..that’s all we did. Well we did go on a nice walk in Millennium Park and do some canoodling while dangling our feet in the cool water feature. We did go for a 4 mile runnishmostlywalk, because I was quite not well, along the Lakeshore Drive path. Running literally right next to the water and boats at the marinas, from our hotel corner all the way down to the museums and back. Other than those two things we were simply there for the adventure of going to those two shows. Part of that adventure for me is always staying in the hotel room. Let me inform you if you haven’t already figured it out… I am a high rent girl. I can pseudo rough it at the Chateau in the woods for 3 or so days on one shower and no make-up. But when I’m on an adventure, an escape. I prefer to treat myself to the taste I actually have instead of limit myself to the more moderate daily life I lead. I would go as far as to say that The Husband and I choose to live the more moderate daily life so we CAN go with the higher style we could afford pre-kids when we treat ourselves. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still going to try to get that splurge as cheaply as possible. I am the woman who breast fed mostly because it was FREE. So lately whenever I am booking a night away for my girlfriends and I to stay downtown and hit the bars, or an escape or an adventure, I have been scoring the BEST rooms on Priceline. And this time was no different. I scored us two nights at The Hyatt on Wacker Drive literally right on the river. It was an amazing river/lake view room, we were upgraded once we got there and checked in. I go into the bathroom and look for my favorite hotel room friend. My frenemy, the one thing in the hotel room bathroom that no matter how hard I try to stay away , I simply cannot help but take just a small peek. And then like the jaws of some movie vixen I am suddenly trapped in front of it for what seems like hours. The magnifying make-up mirror. Almost always mounted nicely on the wall right where I like it, even better if it is somehow lit. BUT this particular bathroom was like the nirvana of all picking your face into oblivion, fretting over where did ALL those hairs come from and OMG what is that huge age spot on the side of my eye experiences that came before it. This bathroom also somehow had magical light. The big mirror was surrounded bu this sort of back-lit bulbs lighting that once you stepped into that bathroom you suddenly were transformed into some magical creature. For starters it showed me the color of my eyes in my reflection better than I’ve ever seen in a mirror and only a true handful of times captured on cam. And then it did this thing with sort of putting light on my hair. It was suddenly being transformed into the lighting for a really expensive photo shoot for a cover shot in some fabulous magazine. I told The Husband more than once that I wanted that damn mirror in my bathroom at home. Add the boosted nirvana from the large mirror to the little make-up mirror. Because it was also lit with the same soft expensive photo shoot lighting.
This is where I have to make the confession that I am a picker. A squeezer. I get mass satisfaction from gross goo shooting out of things on my skin. I am one of those people who would Google those YouTube videos of people getting back cysts lanced. I haven’t actually looked those videos up yet because I am a tiny bit afraid of how much I might like watching them. When I retire I should become an Estheticion just so I can squeeze others people zits for a living. That would probably make me very very happy for a little bit. But not nearly as happy as squeezing and picking at my own face makes me. And there is no better place to do this activity than in front of a great magnifying mirror in a bathroom with amazing lighting in a hotel room in another city without your kids. I loved that bathroom. This is my Tuesday night pony tail for the 2nd Alkaline Trio show.
In the next 48 hours I will see not one but two Alkaline Trio live shows. For the next 3 days, The Husband and I will be ALONE and FAR AWAY from MiniMe and The Destroyer. Before I get to take advantage of all that time away I had to make sure the house, and kids and etc was taken care of. So last night I totally sent The Husband to Sam’s Club and stole making dinner from him. I am a fabulous cook. But ever since the reconciliation I have found myself relegated to sous chef in my house. One of the ways The Husband coped and relaxed during the almost divorce was to cook. Before we split up we used to both cook fairly evenly. There is debate on who is the better cook. He is by far the better baker, I am better at sauces. He is an amazing smoker chef as well. The place where I excel though is taking what’s left in the house that seems like nothing and making an amazing meal with it. That’s because of the way my mind works when I cook. When I’m deciding what to make for dinner this is what I do.
I take a look at what we have in the fridge or what I need need to use up, and then I just start thinking about what sounds good with it. It’s pretty simple really. Just add some flavor you are craving and voila dinner. Sorry if the pics line up wonky, but I’m done messing with it.
Last night’s dinner started with the Italian marinade chicken, fresh local green beans, beets, garden slicing tomatoes, and spicy field greens. Even better, other than the salad and corn, everything was being grilled. Chicken was simply done in a an Italian marinade of The Husbands concoction and grilled for about 8-10 min per side.
Grilled Beets:Chop of tops and roots. Wash, peel, slice in about 1/4-1/2 slices. lightly coat in olive oil. Grill for about 8-12 minutes a side, flip repeat until done. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grilled Green Beans with garlic and shallots:I rinsed and broke the stem ends off of the beans. A few of them I broke bad spots off. The bean’s got a light coating of olive oil in a cookie sheet. Then I peeled and sliced the shallots, garlic pressed the fresh garlic on top of that. Sort of cut, mashed it all in with some sea salt, then tossed it with the beans and oil. I put the beans on the grill after the beets were flipped and left them in there for the remainder of the cooking time, about another 8-10 minutes or so.
Garden Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella salad:Slice the farmers market or garden tomatoes and leave them sit at room temperature. Go pick some Basil form you garden and layer the rinsed and bruised basil leaves and fresh mozzarella between the slices. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Serve over field or other spicy greens.
Corn on the cob and Garlic Naan:We also had corn to use up and Garlic Naan in the freezer. Corn I just husked and trimmed and boiled for about ten minutes. Naan went onto the cookie sheet after the beans came off to get some of the left behind garlic and shallots. Then onto the grill at the end.
The Final Result: Grilled chicken, beets, beans and garlic naan. With Caprese salad, corn on the cob. Oh and Friday’s Blackberry cobbler (also made by me) for dessert: