Monthly Archives: July 2016

Twenty Øne on the 21st

Did I fall down a hole? Well, kinda. And now that I’ve clawed my way out, lemme share with you the best part of my absence: going to see Twenty Øne Pilots in concert.

 

On July 21st, I saw TØP. Get it? Twenty Øne on the twenty first? I crack myself up.

 

Last year, the day the tickets went on sale, the hubs bought a set of four. We pulled a surprise scavenger hunt on Christmas and surprised the spawn. But man alive, eight months of waiting. Ugh.

 

Oh, there was a friend of Thing 1 who wanted to go. So she knew beforehand and didn’t even spill the beans. Good job, girl whose name isn’t Carmen, no matter how many times I called you that.

 

So, finally, the day arrives. Cue the alarm clock at 2:15 a.m. Yup. You read that correctly. It’s a 3 ½ hour drive one way for us, and we wanted a good place in line. An email had come two days before warning us NOT to camp (um…I can neither confirm nor deny we were going to do this…totally true, though) and that the venue would NOT allow anyone to line up prior to 6:00 the morning of the 21st. So we figured we’d be thirty minutes early. No biggie, find a place to park.

cry

Some people don’t care about rules. Upon our arrival, we were about 150 people back. At 5:30. Found out later that the first bunch in line had been camping since the day the email was sent. No matter, dirty rule breakers…we unpacked our chairs and coolers for the long day.

 

Little did we know, until many hours later, that we were part of the largest group, to date, that had lined up prior to a TØP concert. By noon, we were still in our spot, while hundreds and hundreds fell into rank behind us. Groups filled the sidewalk block after block. And with hours to kill, we sometimes looked like this:

TOP line wait

(Yes that is just my little group by itself. Somehow, we ended up being placed between a staircase to UC Berkeley and a driveway—just enough room for the five of us.)

 

Somewhere around the seventh hour, I fell asleep in my chair. Everyone napped at some point. At 4ish, we left the hubs in line and the girls and I trekked to the car with all of our gear. We knew the line would be shifted and didn’t want to juggle everything. On the way into the parking garage, a bearded guy, his wife and their little girl were playing near the entrance to the venue (where the bands’ buses enter). Thing 1 commented on the lil’ one’s ball. The guy was super nice. Found out later, he is Darren King, the AMAZING drummer for Mutemath. I capitalized that for a reason. Please do yourself a favor and watch him in action. He’s all over YouTube.

heavy breathing

Odd thing happened before the line pushed forward to go into the Greek Theater. We were approached by Mark Eshelman of Reel Bear Media. They produce weekly updates for TØP and post them to YouTube. He asked to interview us because we came as a family. Mark was stellar and hilarious. When he left (and I still had no idea who he was), the spawn totally fangirled over meeting him. Maybe we’ll make the cut for last week!

 

And how cool is finding this tweet after waiting hours and hours?

TOP tweet

 (there’s Thing 1 & Thing 2 on a retweet by the Hubs)

We had two secret weapons as the time grew close: Thing 1 and Thing 2. They had been to a TØP concert earlier in the week (long story involving lucky spawn and gracious uncle), so we knew there would be two stages. I fear the pit. Too much pushing. Too little caring. So, we found the second stage and sat three feet from it. Yes, three feet.

 

Chef’s Special started off the concert. Along the reggae lines, they reminded me of another band. Then Mutemath came on and I thoroughly enjoyed their set. That lead singer has moves like a penguin.

 

I cried when TØP started. I wasn’t there as a mom who brought her kids or a wife with the family because they were all going. There’s already a post here about how much I enjoy the group. And the more I learn the lyrics, the more I appreciate Tyler and Josh.

 

TØP engages their fans. The crowd sang every bit as loudly as Tyler did. And that proximity to the second stage? As chinzy as it sounds, it was almost intimate to watch two friends play for a crowd of 8,500.

TOP Tyler up close

(Why is he blurry? He never stands still…)

Would I suggest TØP concerts? Whole-heartedly. They don’t just play songs, they give you an experience.

TOP Berkeley

Would I go to another TØP concert? February 2017. Boom.


Ending Fear

There once was an author with a dream. She typed and typed. Then she deleted and typed some more. Edits were grueling. Often, she questioned her sanity. But one lovely day, she wrote the final word to her book and her heart soared.

 

My readers, meet my friend De–aka Deanna Fugett. We met through a writers critique group and she’s been a fantastic friend. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you the cover reveal of her upcoming book “Ending Fear.”

Teenage girl portrait

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Here’s a brief summary:

 

“Fourteen-year-old Fear learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Running from her abusive Downer family, Fear discovers a new family. One who knows how to love. But then her new little sister is kidnapped and sold to a harem. Fear must go against her namesake and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever. Can she save Happy in time?”
And here’s De, follwed by her bio:
Deanna Fugett Headshot
Deanna Fugett’s heart belongs to writing. Author of edgy YA Dystopian fiction with an underlying message of hope, this stay-at-home mom of four focuses on writing as much as humanly possible. She was published at the young age of six in a local newspaper and is excited to be published again. It only took twenty-six years. She enjoys the thrill of writing fiction that deals with intense topics and prays it will impact people for the better.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book!
P.S. De has one of my all time favorite Twitter handles: @dutchessofdork3

Jane Like Tarzan

Thing 1 and I went to see “The Legend of Tarzan” yesterday. I have to admit, I was both excited and apprehensive after reading both positive and negative reviews from professionals and people I know. But I bit the bullet and braved the 101 temperatures.

Tarzan

(There are lots o’ posters for the movie, but I like this one best)

This rendition of Tarzan is NOT a Disney spin-off, and you shouldn’t bring anyone who is frightened by violence and blood. Or anyone who will blush like a maid with a shirtless dude, because Tarzan no like shirts.

Alexander Skarsgård takes the lead role, with Margot Robbie playing his Jane. Both actors are superb. They were children raised in Africa (he by gorillas and she by her English-teaching father in a neighboring village), transplanted to England and forced back to Africa. While Jane embraces the idea, Tarzan is less than happy, since he knows he’s headed back as a political pawn.

Accompanying the pair is George Washington Williams, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

SLJ

He is the sole misstep of the movie. While the entire cast wrap you into the story, Mr. Jackson sounds nearly identical to many of his other movie and commercial roles, right down to the unnecessary swearing and crude comments. Seriously…I half expected him to look at the camera at some point and say, “What’s in your wallet?”

Tarzan and G.W. Williams motor down to Africa to see if King Leopold II is enslaving the men there to mine diamonds, which the King is doing. The King’s right-hand-man, Leon Rom,  kidnaps Jane in order to deliver Tarzan to the leader of the tribe who guards the diamond mines. The only problem is that Rom has no idea that Tarzan will do anything to protect the ones he loves—and he loves Jane above everything else.

There is no sex shown in the movie, but it certainly portrays the electric current between the married Jane and Tarzan. An obvious passion flows between them and, as a married gal myself, I like the way it was handled—enough to make me believe it and stopping short of a cinematic romp.

africa

Yes, there is lots of CGI, but it help blends the story. I mean, we all can pick out a man in a gorilla suit. At one point, Thing 1 leaned over and whispered, “Is it wrong that I’m thinking of ‘The Lion King’ right now?” So, there are a couple of cheese ball moments too.

Over all, I give “The Legend of Tarzan”  a couple of thumbs up for not only a good story, but a believable love story woven into plot, holding it all together.


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