It’s getting kind of spooky around here

The final pumpkin baby verdict. Quads!

The Destroyers Birthday is coming very soon.  He will be 6 and he has always loved spooky things.  When he was a toddler he would turn all the lights out during dinner and proclaim that we  were playing  “dark spaces” .  His favorite shirts to wear each year are his Halloween Spooky shirts.  He starts wearing as soon as he can in the Fall and stops when the weather changes and he has no choice.   Thank goodness fashion has skulls in right now because he is completely outfitted in skull/spooky shirts for his wardrobe.   I’ve had these Dept 56 Halloween Houses for years, and each year he begs for them to be put up as soon as possible.  I usually do it inside before or over Labor Day weekend and then pretend we are really a normal family until October 1 when the outside stuff goes up.   This year it’s all up now. Instead of the big Fall tree I did  last year I put a a little Spooky Tree on the porch.    There is more Fall decor for me to get up, but I’m done for now I think.  I’ll switch it out to Fall only after Halloween because I finally get to have Thanksgiving wherever the hell I please this year and will be doing it at my house.   It’s by no means a decorator show house job but I’m pretty pleased with it and I love sharing ideas for decor.    If you do something really cool for fall please share!!

Jack’s Mannequin- The perfect end of summer concert

I realize that technically Summer isn’t over until the middle of this month.  And also many ladies around here consider summer over once school starts, but I have always felt like Labor Day weekend was the officially end of summer. So last week was the last week of summer in my mind.   I love summer, especially I loved this past summer.   So this year the last week of August was bittersweet for me because Labor  Day was approaching and that means fall and I LOVE FALL. But this year I also loved summer.

I have had tickets to the Jack’s Mannequin show since probably the first week or so they went on sale.  It’s been on the books all summer long as the last concert of the summer.  Other concerts have come and gone until finally it was Andrew’s turn to woo me at a Jack’s Mannequin show.

The back story on Andrew is that he is/was the lead singer of Something Corporate. You’ve seen them on the blog here.  By the time PJ introduced me to Something Corporate the band was long since  broken up and Andrew had moved onto his solo career as Jack’s Mannequin.  I gave the Jack’s a little bit of a listen during the PJ era but didn’t spend much time on it.  It wasn’t because I didn’t like it, it was that during those 5 or so months that were the PJ era of the Ad story I was going through music at the pace of a  teenage boy looking for just the right songs to put on the mix tape for that special girl.  This was happening for two reasons; 1-That kind of life chaos and change requires a sound track for coping and 2- PJ was feeding me music faster than I could deepen my knowledge of each band I  initially loved.  I naturally gravitated towards songs or bands that gave me what I needed during that time.  Something Corporate I LOVED.   This is one band I’m sad I discovered too late.  He claimed to have seen them 8 times. In spite of the PJBS factor one must apply I can see that happening.   I really can.  Many months after he vanished I came across a mutual Reddit friend liking the Jack’s Mannequin Page on FB.   So I liked it too, which lead to discography collecting and some  deeper Jack’s research.  I like a lot of what he does, and his personal story of triumph over cancer is quite compelling to me.  He also seems to have had his heart broken a fair  amount of times and yet can still not come off  embittered by it all. This is probably just a really long  paragraph amounting to me telling you that I wanted to see him live because I thought it was the closest I would ever get to  Something Corporate.

It was a date night with The Husband. He was taking one for the team coming to this show with me because emo really isn’t his music. So I buttered him up by letting him pick dinner and agreeing to pay for everything.   We really only had one risk/gamble going for the night, and that was which set would Andrew play as co-headliner, the first one or the 2nd one.  The tickets said 7pm, the FB event said 9pm, I had no desire to  spend my Monday night discovering Guster if I didn’t have to, yet I didn’t want to miss a minute of Jack.  Ultimately I made an adult decision to have a nice dinner with my husband at 6:45 near the venue and take calculated risks on the timing, thereby accepting the consequences of being wrong.  I was quite emotionally comfortable with this, but it bugged The Husband. He didn’t want me to miss any of my show.  I wanted to show him he was more important and that my focus was on our time together.   The last week of August was when we started the baby steps of our reconciliation journey and now that we have arrived, if you will,  at our destination I try harder to make sure  I stay focused on the life I chose  and choose to live.   That line has been tested and held strong over the last year, and things feel like the new normal to me these days.

All of this polite and courteous risk planning actually culminated in the perfect evening.  We settled the dinner place and timing decisions by picking an amazing Italian place near the venue and eating at 6:45.  We let the server know of our plans and proceeded to enjoy a relaxed, but time conscious meal.    We walked to the venue and got in after the opening act. As we are walking toward the lawn The Husband asks if i want to rent chairs.  I think we have them, I tell him, I bought reserved seats.  Within two more minutes of walking we discover that not only did I buy reserved seats, but reserved seats = chairs on the lawn in a barricaded, bracelet access area.    I love VIP treatment, so this was an added bonus to our night.    Within 10 minutes Andrew came on and played  from  as the sun was setting until dark.  The weather was great, the venue has amazing sound, the band and Andrew were awesome and the set list did not disappoint even a little bit.   The Husband and I were  able to have a nice dinner, see a great show, spend some alone time together and still make it home with a new battery for the van in time to pay the babysitter less than $50.   I was quite grateful for  the Monday night of peaceful enjoyment later in the week when I was juggling crisis and  half marathon/vacation planning.  It was the perfect  last concert of the summer.

Must start planning the fall/winter/spring concert series….