red rum… Red Rum.. RED RUM!!! I … I mean, BLOG! Blog BLOG!

This blog is brought to you in part, by the crazy scrawling words in red all over my shower. 

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Well…. that’s what happens when crazy musicians watch too many Kubrick movies….

No.  Really….   No joke. This actually happened. 

 

He’s been on me for a while to work on a blog about our trip to Disney. (Yup. The one from May. )  And I started a trip report over on the DisBoards… and updated a few times (The draft of which, is in my draft folder on here… ) I just haven’t worked on it in a while. 

He also is anxiously waiting for a blog about my newest Disney haul, which I’m very excited about…. but I haven’t written anything about it. 

NOR, have I written anything on this supposed book I was going to start writing. 

 

I just, haven’t been feeling it lately. Which, might be why I never got into writing professionally.  You can’t just write because you don’t ‘feel like it’, nothing would ever get done!    Of course…. have you TRIED writing when you don’t feel like it?  It’s the most drudging thing. Seriously. I couldn’t get excited about writing a blog where I MOVE to Disney, in the moods I’ve been in lately. 

 

And, for those of you who even know me in the slightest — you know exactly how much power that statement holds. 

Last night, however, I got the slightest twinge of motivation to write.  It’s my own fault, really… but we’ll get there. 

Matt had just gotten back from a quick trip to Oklahoma City — a band thing; so he was in the shower washing out the eyeliner and hair gel (What?! No, nothing else. These boys behave…..), and I was standing there talking to him.     As he turned off the water, he slid the shower door open slightly, and hopped out. With a pretty good poker face, too; I might add. 

But, it wasn’t quick enough. Before he could slide the door back shut , I noticed something that wasn’t there when I’d showered that morning. Asked him about it, and he just shook his head.  Naturally, I can’t leave well enough alone when I get nosy, so I investigated. 

Now, on the wall of our shower directly across from the showerhead, there was some writing on the wall that had been there a few days. Red and purple writing, that due to the hot water from our showers, was starting to look more and more like something written on the walls in Silent Hill — but I’ll get to that in a different blog.  (The very blog, in fact, that not having, has prompted my husband’s nutty behavior.) 

 

But now, under that writing, there was something else scrawled.   Nothing I could make out, though.    In the middle of the long word, was something that looked like an 8. And I could make out a backwards ‘G’ But, nothing else.   (I suppose it should be said that we have awful lighting in our bathroom- all but one of the bulbs need replacing.) 

A little puzzled, I started trying to decipher the code.  Pretty unsuccesfully, too.  I ducked back out of the shower, and shot my husband a look. I asked him about it, but he didn’t have a lot to say about it, just laughed. He wouldn’t explain it, saying that it made sense. 

Which… baffled me. Because, let me tell you, it made zero sense.   But, neither did some of the clues I got in the scavenger hunt from the other day . (Again, you don’t know about that because I haven’t blogged about it yet.  It’s becoming more and more clear that I’ve shot myself in the foot here, isn’t it?)   So, I went back to the shower to gather more clues . See if I missed anything. 

 

And boy, did I miss something. 

He’d taken one of our red bathtub crayons (Yes, I am a child. I requested these. I wanted to draw in the shower. Or play Hangman. Shut up.) and and scrawled all over the shower. 

But, they weren’t odd symbols or codes like I thought at first.  They were words. Actual words. 

 

Well. No. That’s a lie.    It was ONE word. 

Bet you can’t guess where I’m going with this, can you? 

 

 Warning:

 Red and Purple Bathtub Crayons Streak/Smear and Look Gross After a Few Showers. My Shower Isn’t THAT Dirty. 

 

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Exhibit A..
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Exhibit B.

 

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Exhibit C.  My so-called symbol. Makes more sense now…
 
 
He’d literally written the word ‘blog’, all over our shower.  Taking into account that he’s been playing Silent Hill Origins – game  set in land of the creepy messages in blood – that upped the creep factor just a tad. 
 
Though, I can’t argue that it’s been a little motivating.  Especially in the ‘if-I-don’t-blog-what-happens-next’ context. 
 
Because really. I’m not at all sure how he’d top this one.  And, to be quite honest, I’m really not sure I would want to find out. 
 
So, friends, family, and poor strangers who were unfortunate enough to stumble across my little corner of the internet…. please stay tuned! Coming later this week…. there will be posts about the Disney trip… posts about the wonderful scavenger hunt that my husband sent me on before he became a resident of the Overlook Hotel, and a post about the newest member of our family. 🙂
 
And…. if you don’t hear from me soon, do send help.   Blu rays and bananas will distract the hubby long enough for me to escape.  
 
I’ll be waiting… 

 

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Mohawk Madness! (Alternatively Titled: “Have I Lost My Mind? Probably…”)

Well, it’s that time again….

Yup! The time Matt and I set our alarms to get up early, to watch Sarah shave her hair into a mohawk for hydrocephalus …

 

Wait.

No.

That’s not quite right, now is it?   This year, circumstances are a little different.

This time, I’ll be joining her.

If you knew me around this time last year,  chances are you’ll find this extremely funny . Why?  Because as excited as I was that Sarah was doing her fundraiser, and as much as I shared her posts about it, and tried to support her — would I have done it myself?

Nope.  No way.  Not happening.

I even made it pretty clear on all my posts about her fundraiser. Most of my tweets about it contained something like the following:  “Good for Sarah, and it’s fantastic of her to do something like this… but there’s no way I’d ever have the guts to do something like this. ”

Famous last words, right?

Anywho. This year, Sarah announced it again. Only this time, she invited other people to join her, donating the money to whichever hydrocephalus organization they chose.   That, was pretty cool. And lately, I’ve been more involved with the hydrocephalus community, between my support groups, making Boozle Bears, and Project Pixie Dust.  So naturally, the idea stuck in my head a little bit.

Not, that I particularly want a mohawk.  I certainly don’t feel comfortable in the fact that I could pull one off — but, it’s just hair, right?

But, there isn’t any denying that it would be an attention grabber . Especially if I shave my head, and have my shunt scar showing.  That screams ‘conversation starter’.   And that’s what we want – we want attention. The opportunity to talk about a condition that isn’t talked about enough. The more people know about a condition, and how it affects people , the less likely they are to ignore it.

The money doesn’t hurt either.  For raising a thousand dollars for a good cause, I can chop my hair off. It’ll grow back, and the money will be put to good use.  All of the donations I receive, regardless of if I meet my goal or not, will be donated to the Hydrocephalus Association. 

Not to mention all the poor people who will hear ALL ABOUT it, during the months when I’ll be raising the  money. 🙂  Really, you folks that follow me on social media may hate me by the end, but… you know, if I don’t talk about it – I for sure won’t hit my goal. 🙂

That being said?  I’m still terrified.   I can’t pull a mohawk off!  I’ve got the face of a 16-year-old, not a punk kid! (Or a glamour model, both of which I’ve seen pull the style off flawlessly!)

I have lots and lots of hangups on the subject. Most of which I’ll leave out of this initial blog – it gives me something to write about as we go. 🙂  It’ll be interesting to see if this experience changes my view-point on it, as we get closer to hawk time. 😉

The fundraiser starts tomorrow, and ends October 31st.  The cut is happening sometime in November, if I raise $1000.  The wonderfully talented Holly at Ooley’s will be cutting it for me.  Which, let me tell you, sets me a great deal more at ease. I’ve been to her twice, and I can’t imagine her letting me leave unhappy — or unattractive. 🙂

 

If you’d like to donate, or even share the link with someone else, I would be more than grateful. 🙂  Click here to visit my GoFundMe page. 

Also, if you could be so kind, if you find any pictures of gorgeous, breathtaking (or…feminine friendly in general) mohawks – leave me the link in the comments!  I have some major planning to do….)

Project Pixie Dust’s First Giveaway!!

Wait.

Does that mean I’m a genuine blogger now?  Except for that little fact that I seem to forget I even have a blog somedays…..     Scary stuff, let me tell you. 🙂

Anyway, I’m really excited about this so, I won’t mince my words.

As you all know, I volunteer in my free time, for the Hydrocephalus Association.  Recently, (and if you’ve been keeping up with the Bear drama, bless you) I’ve finally gotten started assembling these teddy bears with shunts, called Boozle Bears.   I absolutely love them, they’re fantastic for explaining to little kids what hydrocephalus is, and how it’s treated.

Only thing, they’re a touch expensive.  (Granted, once you try to make one of them, you QUICKLY understand why. Not to mention, they have a real shunt inside of them!)

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Look! All finished, stuffed, shunted and smiling. 🙂 You’d never guess he was such a nightmare to assemble… 😉

So, I got the brilliant idea to give my Boozle Bear away! I mean, I know perfectly well how my shunt works, why not give it to a family who needs it?

Expanding on the idea- we’re taking him to Disney with us, and taking pictures of him with all the characters.  Then, we’ll make up a photo album/autograph book for him, and we’ll give that away with him as well. 🙂

I’m beyond excited for it. I mean, I was already excited about taking the trip to Walt Disney World – who wouldn’t be?  But now, I know the little bear is going to be a fabulous conversation starter, and I’m going to have multiple chances to discuss the condition with people, and hopefully spread a little awareness while I’m at it.

Then, we come home, and I get to share the memories and the pixie dust with someone who may really need it. How cool is that?

So, if you would, do me a favor?   If you know anyone, or have anyone following you on social media who has hydrocephalus, or has a child with it, could you please share this giveaway?  I have it linked on Project Pixie Dust’s Facebook page , here. It doesn’t cost anything to enter, so if you know someone who needs something like this, please – let them know!

In the comments, let me know what you think of this bear, would you? Personally, I think he’s great, but I’m a touch biased… 🙂

Keeping a secret for 9 months is hard…

And it’s about to drive me insane…  I keep wanting to spill the beans on Facebook, but the hubby frowns on that. At least not this early… 

But I can’t wait. So, I’m going to blab it now…. 

 

 

 

…. 

 

 

 

No. Not that.  No babies in sight — but we’re going back to Disney! 

We booked the trip 9 months ago – practically to the day. 

I’ve been giddy and screechy and all excited. I wanted to post it everywhere – but we try not to advertise when we’ll be out of town on social media. (Makes sense, but I’m excited, so it ends up just making me overplan, and chatter my husband’s ear off about it.. ) 

I’m so excited – I didn’t think we’d be able to go back so soon!  But, as luck (and some mad budgeting skills) would have it, we can! And we are! 

Out of the interest of NOT having our house broken into, I won’t share exact details on dates and such until we get back, but… there’s no reason I can’t ramble on a bit about the trip itself! 

Like always, we aren’t sure when we’ll be able to afford to go back – or when our jobs will allow, so we’re trying to get all we can out of this trip. 🙂 We’re also celebrating our 5 year anniversary in advance, because – well – what better place to do so?!

Per usual, we’re staying at our home, the Animal Kingdom Lodge. And I can promise you, as soon as we see that sign saying “Welcome Home,” and hear the Cast Members greeting us with it, I will be in tears. Because I am a sap like that. (Reminder: Pack. Kleenex.)

We’re flying Southwest, and have a layover in Denver , which Matt is beyond thrilled about.   Confused? Google “Denver Airport Conspiracy,” and check it out.  A few different theories about it – if you can deal with a little theatrical drama, check out Jessie Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory episode that featured it… I don’t recall the name, but a quick Google should bring it up. 

We’re doing our first tour this trip! It’s the UnDISCOVERed Future World Tour in Epcot. All the tours looked amazing, but we love Epcot, and this one seemed to have the most backstage access – especially in some areas in Epcot that I’d been curious about! 

Of course, I’m getting my Via Napoli fix, and this time, no pasta for me. Nothing but that amazing pizza.  And then I’ll come home, and cry over all my blogs about how amazing it was, and how I’ll never find anything remotely close to it here.  Seriously. If you are ever in Orlando, BUY A TICKET TO EPCOT AND GO.   You’ll thank me. Really.  

I’m for sure buying a tiara, since the BBB doesn’t cater to adults anymore…  WDW is about the only place I can imagine getting away with strolling down Main Street in one, so that’s a definite on my list. 

We’re also doing afternoon tea again at the Gardenview Tea Room, it was SUCH an amazing experience last year, we can’t NOT go. And the Grand Floridian is gorgeous. We actually have a few more things to do there, as well.. but more on that later. 

We’re skipping on Cindy’s Castle this year – but we’re making a few stops over at Beast’s Castle, which I can’t WAIT for. My only issue? Do we eat in the ballroom? Or the West Wing?!  Decisions, decisions….

We also have  – no judging-  THREE character meals.  One of which, is at the Grand Floridian, and features the step family from Cinderella.  I’m beyond excited for that! 

Our package came with free Disney Quest tickets, and we’re going! Really, I want to find this Aladdin VR game.  I read about it when I was little, in my Disney Adventure magazine, and I remember wishing so badly that I’d be able to go and play it someday.  So, to make little 8 year old me happy – I have to do it. No getting around it!

But I think, the aspect of this trip that I’m beyond elated and giddy about …. is Victoria and Alberts. 

For those of you aren’t as Disney-obsessed as I am,  let me explain why I’m so excited for something that’s so… not Disney-fied.

Victoria and Alberts, is essentially, a place I’ve drooled over since I started researching our first trip. I read about it, and it was one of those places that I HAD to go to, but I was in such a state of awe reading about it, that I knew we never would go. There was no way. 

Let me elaborate. 

Victoria and Alberts is a slightly expensive dining experience. 

It’s a 5 diamond restaurant.  They only have two seatings a night.  

There’s the main dining room, which only has a handful of tables.   Then, there’s the Queen Victoria dining room, with even fewer tables. Then, they have the Chef’s Table in the kitchen, where you watch your meal being made, and the chefs explain it all.

There’s a strict dress code – evening wear for women; and dress shoes, slacks, button up shirt, tie and a jacket for men. 

The main dining room, you pay a flat fee, (a…..rather large fee…)   and get a 6 course meal. Each course, you have three options to choose from.   They offer extras like caviar, kobe beef, wine pairings, etc – but those cost extra. 

They also give every woman who dines there, a rose. And you take home a loaf of bread with you. 

Not normal bread though, bread that complements whatever dishes you had. With, naturally, butter than complements the bread. 

There’s a harpist. They also offer pashmina shawls to you, if you’re cold. 

There is also …. and I have to admit, this was what initially drew my attention to the place, years ago….   siphon brewed coffee. 

Apparently, it’s quite a show to see, and they brew it at the table! 

I’ve been searching the web for dining reviews for this place, and I can’t get enough.  I know, that the chances of me ever going somewhere like this again – are slim to none. It’s really too rich for my pocketbook, but I can’t resist trying it once. 🙂 

Take a look around online – let me know what you think! I’d love to hear thoughts on the place.  Or, if you’ve been before, what did you think? 

I’ll definitely be posting a trip report when we get back – especially since we’re going to be doing some Project Pixie Dust related things while we’re there. 🙂  (I’ve also been threatened with never returning, if I don’t blog about the trip in a timely fashion…. 

 

And now, I’ll leave you with what we ALMOST booked for this trip.  We had the alotted money.  I was looking up details to book.  Only, I found out that NOW, Hollywood Studios doesn’t do private catered parties for under ten people now.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so upset. 

Click to see what I’d kill to be able to do.  

If you’re a Disney fan, prepare to cry. Buckets of tears. It’s beautiful. 

I’d commit unspeakable acts, if Disney would put a suite in that attraction.  Or a Hollywood Tower Hotel THEMED hotel.  

That would be a bad idea, actually. 

We’d go broke. 

But stop, for just a second, and think about all the awesomeness that would entail!! 

 

… 

By the way, does anyone have any tips for dealing with a fear of flying, aside from imbibing on Southwest’s alcoholic drinks? 😉

 

Bond. James Bond….. Junior.

No.

Not really.  Please don’t click X on the window just yet…

(For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, this YouTube link will fix that.  I LOVED it, cheese and all.)

But, sadly, (or.. happily – depends on how you look at it!)  that’s not what I’m talking about today.

Lately , much to my despair, we’ve been watching the classic Bond movies.  (Quick note!  Small Skyfall spoilers within. You’ve been warned…..) 

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It’s funny, neither Matt nor I had ever been into James Bond – to any extent, unless we’re counting that aforementioned children’s series. (And… most wouldn’t.)

I don’t remember exactly why, but we started to watch the new Bond movies with Daniel Craig, and loved them. Absolutely loved them. But there wasn’t any interest in checking out the past Bond movies.  I actually remember having the conversation with Matt, and he flat out stated he wasn’t interested in any of the older ones. Wasn’t his style, wasn’t his thing . good or not – he had no interest.

Boy, must he be eating some crow right about now…

I wish I could remember the thing that set it off.  But something happened, (To be honest? It could have been something as simple as a good Blu-Ray sale.   Don’t laugh – I’m not kidding here…) and Matt picked up an older Bond movie.  I think it was a 3 pack.  I don’t remember the other two – but Golden Eye was one of them.

Something had happened that had made Matt slightly interested in the classic Bond films again.  I was still very much in the Camp Don’t Make Me Watch These Please!   But, being the good sport that I am, I agreed to watch one of them. The idea was to check them out, and if we liked/could tolerate them, to maybe pickup the rest of them.

Goody.

I wasn’t thrilled. There are a LOT OF BOND MOVIES. I will admit I liked the newer ones, but wasn’t sure I could deal with all the cheesiness of the old ones. And the suave ladies’ man Bond didn’t really appeal to me.

But, I suffered through. And, as luck would have it, Matt liked it.

That was close to a year ago, I think. Maybe more.  I’m not sure. Anyway… he watched the other two one day when he was home sick.  So, it was decided that we’d get all of them. Wasn’t a huge priority… but it was happening.

Jump back to pretty much present time, and I’m at work, sitting with Mom.  My phone rings, and it’s an overexcited Matt.   He’s been watching this box set on Amazon.  Not only does it have every single Bond blu-ray, but it also has an open slot for Skyfall!

Fantastic news, but the price?  Not so fantastic. I won’t share it… but 23 blu rays? You can imagine it, I’m sure.

That’s the bad news.  The good news?  It was some gold box-esque deal on Amazon.  And my husband, is obsessed with those deals.  I’m not even kidding.  You know how you’d expect housewives to be all sale-savvy, and all up on couponing and such?  Well, he’s the housewive of media sales.   I woke up at 5 or 6 in the morning this weekend, and Matt is sitting in bed tapping away on his iPhone.

Confused, I (very groggily) asked what he was doing.   The answer?  Just checking the sales.

He very religiously checks Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and I don’t even know what else weekly for sales and deals.

Needless to say, the Bond set caught his eye.

… sort of.

Instead of snatching it up for the cheaper price, he pointed out to me that there was a flaw in the packaging.

Which, to my perfectionist husband, it just wasn’t acceptable.

What he DID find though, was special, exclusive editions of the movies.    Yay! All is not lost, right?

Ha. Oh, wrong. WRONG.

They aren’t all at the same store. Not even close.  Target had some… Best Buy had some… and Wal-Mart had the others.

….

Fabulous.

So, Matt, who works a half-day on Fridays, calls me up, and lets me know what he’s doing. He’ll talk for a bit while he’s shopping, then let me go when he leaves.   We do this little dance for a few stores.  My mom’s phone is ringing off the hook, and she’s completely perplexed.   I explain things the best I can in between phone calls, and she thinks it’s the funniest thing ever.  Each time he calls back ,she laughs a little more.

Finally, several phone calls later, he’s found all of them. (Yay… uhm, Not….?)

I fought tooth and nail to not watch these movies. I had no interest. I didn’t want to in the least.

His plan, was to watch them all, consecutively.

Night, after night, of the infamous 007.

Oh. Geez. Let me try and contain my excitement before I go on….

Now, in the midst of all this, he got interested in the original books, by Ian Fleming.  Which took me by surprise, as he’s not a fiction book reader.   By Christmas, he had the majority of the Fleming books. He’s read a few of them already, but not all of them.  He seems to be enjoying them , though he does point out they aren’t the easiest to read. Lots of older, proper English terms.  It’s interesting, a lot of them have made their way into his vocabulary now.  (Guys, I’m rubbing off on him — we’ll make him a reader yet!)  He also indulged the side of him that loves non-fiction. Documentary…. after….documentary. Some of them I watched with him, and some of them I took a pass on.  Very interesting though, some of the things you learn. I will say that.

We talked, and made a small compromise. We’d watch them in ‘sections’. Each different James Bond.  That way I didn’t get burnt out , and we could still watch other things.  Okay, fair enough.

First, was the Connery run.  I didn’t understand why, but Matt was very adamant on watching these before watching Skyfall. And sometimes with him, it’s easier and more productive to not ask questions. So, I didn’t.

We watched Dr. No, and though I wouldn’t get super excited over watching it, I enjoyed it more than I expected.   From Russia With Love, was even better. I still wasn’t keen on watching them , a few times I protested enough to earn a brief reprieve from the movies, before getting back into them.   Goldfinger I really liked… Thunderball was okay, I could have done without that one and not have cared, I think.  You Only Live Twice, was the first one I think I found myself getting into and really enjoying.  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was great.  I LOVED that Bond teamed up with a ‘bad’ guy. Fantastic.   Diamonds Are Forever,  I think, has been my favorite.  Willard Whyte KILLED me. Loved him. (Did you know he was Jimmy Dean? Yup. THE Jimmy Dean.)  And the two …very odd henchmen esque guys? Cracked me up.

So… by now, I’ve got my tail in between my legs a bit.  Still pretty adamant that they, though good, aren’t my favorite movies. They were okay, and I could admit that. Moneypenney, is adorable. I love, love, LOVE her.  Her at Bond’s wedding, about broke my heart…   But I was more than ready to watch Skyfall.

Now, I’d be the one eating some crow…

We watched Skyfall, and I found myself picking up little things. References to the earlier movies.   Which makes sense, considering it was the anniversary.    When Bond and M end up needing a getaway car, I squealed a bit when I saw that it was the original Aston Martin. (And yes, I cringed at the end…)  I giggled happily to hear (and recognize!) the original Bond theme during the scene in the car.  No tweaks, no updated instrumentation – a great homage.

But… I’m very ashamed of myself to admit what I’m about to admit.

Myself, still holding onto the last shreds of “I”m NOT a Bond fan”-dom, completely lost it.   The last scene of the movie comes up, where Bond and his as-yet-unnamed female friend enter the new office.

At this point, I sit up a little straighter. Something seems…. odd.

The camera seems to focus on a coat rack, as Bond is asking for the girls name. A coat rack, of all things?! How absurd.

Only not. It should be absurd. I know I should be a little put off they’re focusing on random furniture.  But I’m not.  I’m too busy shrieking at the TV, and angering my husband.

It’s the old office. From the classic Bond movies. I’m thinking, in the back of my head, that I shouldn’t be excited about this.  But I am.  I’m bouncing up and down, shrieking and squeaking at both the TV, and at Matt – but he’s doing his best to ignore me.

And poor thing, it only got worse when the female coworker (who by now, I’m practically jumping out of my seat- because I know who it is) finally gives us her name. And of course, it’s Moneypenney. Of COURSE. Who else would practically murder James? And though at first I was unhappy, because I thought it was implied they slept together in Shanghai, but Matt believes they didn’t.  Surely he’s right, and they wouldn’t have changed such a crucial aspect of their relationship?  Ah well, I digress!

Anyway. She takes her seat, and motions Bond toward M’s door. And -oh-my-god-it’s-the-same-door-did-they-use-the-same-damn-set!? .

Not to mention, Moneypenney is in a blue dress, JUST like in Dr. No, when we first see her.

I caught myself the next day, when I was excitedly telling the story to my nephew. He’d just seen Skyfall, but he hadn’t seen the classic Bond movies.  I pointed out references, and even showed him YouTube scenes from both Dr. No, and Skyfall, geeking out over the offices.  I can’t remember if it was when we were discussing the car, or when I was WAY too excited over the offices… I think it was during the playback of the YouTube video, when I grudgingly accepted the fact that I’d become a Bond fan.

I don’t know when it happened! It certainly wasn’t of my own accord…

Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I must go watch some YouTube video of a phenomenal rendition of Goldfinger from the Oscars. Holy cow, does that woman have a set of pipes!

Meaning, I’m being forced to blog .

 

(Really. I’m chained to the computer… someone please send help….)

You only THINK this is an exaggerated caricature....

You only THINK this is an exaggerated caricature….

 

As most of you know, my husband is a musician.  And by musician, I mean it in every sense of the word, excluding ‘classical.’

He writes and records his own music, for starters.  He’s successfully turned our home into the recording studio equivalent to the Batcave, (barring the Divorcizer– ask him about that one,) and he also plays bass in a fairly successful regional act, The Secret Post. (Fun fact. This was initially an ‘on the side’ project for him — but he’s practically as invested as the singer/founder of the group…..)

I’m not just being a braggy wife when I say they’ve been successful – they actually have garnered some international attention as of late.  They’ve gotten radio play and lots of love from Greece fans, and were contacted by not one, but two record labels.  (They announced today that they signed with the German label AF Music. Surreal, much?)

For some time now, Matt’s been hinting that he’d like to read a blog about ‘being a band wife.’  My reaction? Nope, nada, not happening.   I like to keep my bitching on that front to a not so public medium.    However, he’s kept at it, and a recent out-of-town gig – and the stories of shenanigans, and his fair share of female adoration – set off talks of a blog again.

So, here I am.  Writing the blog that’s bound to get me ostracized. 😉  If I disappear, look for the guys in eyeliner, make them ‘fess up, okay? (Huh. Look at that, I actually started a blog back in 2010 about this exact subject.  It has a paragraph talking about Excedrin, and a picture of a giant drum set in the middle of the living room… Eeks. Not a very positive tone at ALL, I’d say…)

Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure where to start. The term even annoys me.   Band wife.  There’s such a stigma attached to it. It’s practically dripping with stereotypes.

Think about it.  When you hear the term band wife, what pops to mind?

A few things do for me… and I’ve had my fair share of time as both fan girl, musician’s wife, and now a ‘band wife.’ So, here’s what pops in my head when I hear the term.

  •  A ‘bitch’ type persona, who thinks she has all the rights in the world, because she’s dating a pseudo-rock star.
  • A harping woman who loathes her husband’s career, constantly berating him.
  • That woman at the concerts shooting daggers from her eyes at any of the female fans.

Or worse….

  • That woman who thinks she knows EVERYTHING there is to know about the band, clubs, payment, sound, and whatever else, just because she attends shows. 

Not exactly complementary images, right?

It gets better.  In this case, Google isn’t our friend.   I’ve seen ‘Band Wife Commandments,’ that for the sake of both our sanities, I won’t link to here. They anger me BEYOND reason.   Here’s a gem, that I found on a bass forum. (However reading through the post, bless them, there are a few people that I could kiss their feet.  It’s not all horrid! Woo-hoo.  But the farther I read, more idiots, and the OP who thinks his wife’s issues come from being ‘on the rag’.  Oh, geez… )

Additionally, doing a Google search, you find a LOT of blogs ran by “Band Wives.”    It’s not surprising,  really.

Realistically, there are only so many times you can talk to friends and family about some of the issues that come from being a band wife.  At first thought, it may not seem like much.   But trust me, there are some things that only people who have close relationships with serious musicians would understand.

For example..

  •  The stressed over the $2000 musical purchase your husband just made.
  • The fact that no less than 6 women hit on your husband at the last show.
  • Three of them, if you’re lucky, are diehard fans, and will likely  be at every single show the band plays, from now until eternity.
  • Facebook.  FACEBOOK.  I needn’t say more.
  • Roadtrips to pick up a $3000 synth. Who gets to ride in the front seat on the 6 hour drive home…
  • The makeup/outfits.  This is ridiculously hard to explain to some older family members. Or, just family who thinks it’s feminine. I kinda just want to say, “Here. Come to a show with me. All these girls obviously don’t mind it…”
  • Recording sessions. No WiFi/cell phones during sessions, because they interfere with the signal. Cats that must want to be featured on the CD’s.  Cats that get very angry when you try to hush them up. Cat’s that pee on you, to express their displeasure…

I could go on, but you get the idea. Or, at the very least, you’re starting to.  (My fellow friends/family of musicians are sitting there nodding. You know what I mean. You’ve been there.  Can I get an amen or anything? )

So many times, I’ve been telling a story to someone, and it had to do with the music aspect of our life, and mid conversation,  I could see the gears start to turn.   Even when the stories are toned down, I still get the “I-love-you-but-I-think-you-guys-are-crazy-why-do-you-put-up-with-this” vibe.

Yeah.

We really are crazy, there’s not a better way to describe it at all.

And if I’m being completely honest, a good amount of this ‘band wife’ concept, really sucks.   The most obvious being, the girls. Especially since on occasion, his uniform of choice involves makeup, and electrical taped nipples.

 

It really doesn’t matter whether the shows are local, or out of state, he gets hit on by someone, every show.   Or, he has girls down in front dancing for him. (Yes, yes. This is probably karma kicking me in the you-know-what for my dancing at concerts. I’ve accepted this, and am over it.) 

It’s really not so bad.  I’m not worried about him cheating, in the least.  Especially since I hear about all of it later.   But it is a bit daunting to hear about all the pretty, artsy, goth women who are throwing themselves (not a complete exaggeration, but I don’t want to get too detailed.) at the man you’re married to.  Especially when you’re sitting at home, plain, boring, and realizing you haven’t worn makeup in a week. Maybe more.

The worst part of all this?   It may not make sense, but the absolute worst part, is that they aren’t national/known worldwide .

Why?

Well, if they were, then it’d be a bigger scope of people hitting on him. As things stand now, a good portion of the girls who hit on him, I’ve either seen before, or will see again.  Some of them are in bands that travel the same circuits.  A few, we even know somewhat personally.  Which, is why I haven’t divulged any of the pickup lines, or personal details here.  (I’m not THAT mean.) 

Which.. on a side note. Ladies, just because someone is attractive – do you really want to take them home randomly from a club? It’s kinda a freebie with Matt, since he doesn’t wear his ring when he performs (Another point non-musicians may not understand…).  But quite honestly? I’ve never seen the appeal of taking someone home you’ve JUST MET.  They could be a psychopath. STD city. Impotent. You never know…

I’m getting off subject.   Back to the topic at hand, and away from the girl-y aspect of it…

Another downside, (Boy, I’m just FULL of those…) is that life .. pretty much revolves around the musicians schedule. Budget too.

I’m sure things get a little more hairy when kids are involved, but we aren’t at that point yet.  But things like band practice, show schedules, new instruments, strings, picks, maintenance, practice space fee, shows/sound checks, out-of-town shows (and the money needed to go to them), and countless other things, really can put a strain on things.

As much as it sucks, some of these things take priority over things that I’d rather put closer to the top of the priority list. Family events? Dinner with friends? Movie night?  All subject to practice/show schedules.

Budget wise, we’ve put off a Valentine’s Day to help with band expenses once… we’ve rearranged budgets countless times to accommodate new purchases and practice space fees. It’s surprisingly not as bad as you’d think.   The worst of it, honestly has been Matt’s personal purchases outside of the band..

WAIT.

No. I lied. There was that emergency bass and bass amp we had to buy.

God, that was a nightmare.  Especially since we’d had a good amount of purchases he’d made, and I wasn’t happy with it. Long story short, we’d talked about things, and it had been agreed that no major purchases would happen until after X date.

Naturally, Murphy’s Law occurred, and he had  to make a major purchase.  Trust that I was anything but happy… but after a few long conversations (and admittedly, a bit of a guilt trip on my part,) I agreed it was necessary.

There’s more negatives,  being alone at a concert while the husband’s off playing rock star, or entertaining yourself while the band’s out-of-town… but I’ve already typed 1500+ words about negatives. Enough is enough.

On a much happier note – knowing that someone you love has something in their life that they’re passionate about? That really can’t be beat, as sappy as it sounds.

As long as I’ve known Matt, he’s been involved in music – in some shape or form.  I’ve camped out on a pallet outside the studio door for late night writing/recording sessions. I’ve heard stuff he’s written, and things he’s produced for other bands.

But seeing him actually perform – and honestly, be quite good at it?  It’s insane. It’s hard to explain, but you can’t top seeing someone doing what they love, and having that radiate from them.  Unbeatable.

Free concerts are always a plus, too.  (What? You knew it was coming…) 

The people are great.  It’s an odd crowd, and not all of them are people I would have met of my own accord … but they’re a great group of people. Who thankfully, don’t mind having me around.

Another lopsided plus , is all the female attention. (What? Yup. I don’t claim to make sense.)   It’s a bit of an ego boost to see people ogling the person you’re going to take home. I can admit that.

OH, and the makeup.  Being a former drama kid, Matt’s no stranger to makeup – but I’d never been able to get him to wear any eyeliner or anything like that.   Until, he started playing with The Secret Post.

Now, well, the boy’s purchases rival mine. ($20 lipstick? Sephora, shame shame!)  But, as cliché as it is, I LOVE the eyeliner look on guys. The lipstick, I’m on the fence about. But eyeliner, yes please. 🙂

I’m really trying to rack my brain here.. I have a very antsy musician in the other room, sneaking peeks at me, waiting to read what I have written – I don’t want to disappoint!

It’s such an odd position to be in. I know a lot of wives can’t go  – or just don’t want – to attend shows, whether it be because of kids, or personal reasons… but I really enjoy going.  You learn a lot, whether you want to or not.  I’m somewhat proud to say I have a decent handle on how sound checks go, the load out process, and a good amount of gear terminology. I could very roughly explain booking/contracts, bits of the recording process, and I’m fairly certain I could point out when certain band members make mistakes.  Though, I’m still learning all The Secret Post songs. ( Don’t tell anyone, but I used to not care for the band. Matt liked them from the get-go though, and thankfully, before he joined, the songs started to grow on me.  Lord, life would be hell if I didn’t like the band….) 

It’ll be interesting to see if I can keep my mostly positive opinion, if things ever take off for the guys.  It’s exciting, and a touch terrifying, that they’ve been signed to the German label.   Realistically, nothing huge may ever happen.  But, it could mean touring more. Which, obviously not my favorite. I better pick up a hobby. 🙂   Touring more, means more fans. Meaning, more girls.  Also meaning, more recording. (Uh oh…)

ACK! It’s a vicious cycle – I can’t get away!!

All in all, it’s not bad.  I don’t think I’d trade it for anything. It sure makes things interesting.

But, to be candid, I am NOT looking forward to the next recording session.

I FINALLY got decorations up on the walls in my kitchen/living room area, thanks to my friend, Alisha. She graciously helped me do that, and a few other things the last time Matt was out-of-town, doing the rock star thing.   Unfortunately, they rattle .  So they all get to come down the next time he records.

Which, I’m sure you’ll all hear about, be it on Facebook, or here.  I’ll be grumping around about it, I’m sure.

Until he cuts off my internet for the recording session. that is. 😉

 

This Post Brought To You By The Letter M…

So. This is turning into a nasty habit.

Some people travel for conventions.   Some people follow rockstars around.  Others, travel for work….. Matt, travels to play shows.

Me?

I’m rapidly turning into that person – and my husband by proxy – who follows authors around.

It promotes reading… so.. it’s completely healthy, right?   (And I didn’t spend 75 dollars on books this trip… so I’m getting better… )

Ah well. Better or worse, I’m stuck.  There’s just something about a signed book – and being able to meet these people that have had an impact – no matter how small – on how you think. 🙂

The week before we were to go meet Tosca Lee drug on. Ridiculously long….. It absolutely refused to end!

Finally the week ended….  It was  Saturday! No work, and sleeping in here I come!

Haha. Nope. Just kidding. Not today!

Today, was the day that Tosca Lee was coming to Oklahoma City, to promote her latest book, Iscariot.

And, we were going. There wasn’t any question about it.  My husband is just amazing like that. Tour dates were announced, and we were going. Even if we had to go to Lincoln to make it,  we were going. 🙂

The bad news?  It started at 1 pm. Which, isn’t bad, if you live nearby.

We don’t, however.We’re a fair distance from Oklahoma City…..  Getting up early was going to be a necessity.

So, against everything that is good and holy, the alarm clock went off, 8 am sharp.

Me? Yeah. Tosca or no Tosca, I’m not feeling it.  I’m on day 3 of a wicked migraine, and I really just feel like curling into a ball, and sleeping.  (Surely Mardel wouldn’t be offended if I showed up all wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, right? I’ll be decent!)   Matt, is also exhausted, and a touch grumpy. He’d had a late night band practice the night before – and didn’t get in until midnight.  (Yes, I was up that late too. Not too smart, but, and ended up helping him bring his equipment inside. What can I say – I’m a sucker. )

Unfortunately, that just wasn’t in the cards today.   We were very leery of being late, since at the last signing we saw Tosca at, the line was forming 2 and a half hours in advance! So yes, we had to get up and work on getting out the door.

That… didn’t exactly go as planned.

First bad idea of the day? Putting two grown, cranky, sleep deprived adults in the same kitchen in the morning.  Hello, argument city!  Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad, and blessedly, didn’t set the tone for the day.      After a quick shower, fighting for mirror privileges, and locating the car charger  – we were off!

Sorta.

Quick run to QuikTrip for gas – and then the obligatory coffee run, and THEN, we headed for OKC, with Type O Negative blaring in the background.    Sadly, we left later than we wanted to. Not terribly later, but enough to where it put a slight damper on things.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a long drive, only 2 hours.  And, with the Map application on Matt’s phone – it was remarkably uneventful.  I think there was one place where we had to make a quick U-turn, but really, it was a breeze.

The signing started at 1, and we made it to Mardel around 11:30.  Not quite the 3 hour lead we had for the signing Tosca did with Ted Dekker earlier in the year, but hey. Looks like we’d have to take it, and make do.

Pulling in the parking lot, we’re greeted by this:

ImageBeing the tech-geeks we are, we whip out the phones ( Matt beat me to this one,) to snap a pic.  Said picture ends up being tweeted by Matt, and consequently re-tweeted by both Tosca and Mardel.  Pretty cool.  (I’m a nerd. These things make me happy.)

Going inside, we nodded at a few workers, and wandered aimlessly.

Ok. That’s a lie. There was nothing aimless about it.  We wanted to find where the signing would be – and I was praying that a bathroom would miraculously appear in front of me. I was desperate.

It didn’t take long to locate the table they had set up.

Image

Surprisingly, there’s no one around.

Literally.

There are some people milling about, but more near the front of the store.  Not really any back where we were.   So, we slid down against what I think was a help desk, and pulled out our books.

I’d brought Iscariot, (which I shamefully have to admit I hadn’t finished yet. I had made it a goal to finish before the signing!) and Matt had brought Live and Let Die, the James Bond book he’s currently reading. (YES, you read right. 🙂  He is getting back into fiction. So proud, and I couldn’t be happier.  Next stop, Iscariot! Then Black….)

Image

After a bit, I start eyeballing people more than my book.  I spotted a couple of people toting around familiar Dekker books, and Iscariot, which made me smile. I was really hoping for a good turn out!

A few minutes later, one of the ladies I’d seen comes over and sits down with her daughter, who is carrying around Forbidden.  We chatted a bit – both of us were big Tosca/Ted fans, and had both expected a huge crowd, like at the LAST signing they did in OKC.   It was neat to get to chat with her, especially since at this point, Matt was super absorbed in the world of 007.  He’s very much like me in the aspect of – if he’s reading, Lord help the person who interrupts. It won’t be pretty….

A few more people started to filter in, but not many! I was honestly getting a little worried. Especially when it was 1:00, and there were only a few other people in line. How depressing that would be if that was all that showed up!

Tosca showed up around 1:15,  fashionably late — and rocking a OKC Thunder shirt. It was too cute.   Following her, was a good sized group of people. I guess they’d all been congregating near the door? How odd. But okay! People! That’s more like it! 🙂 Was very glad it ended up being a good turnout.

I was really impressed with how Tosca handled her signing.  I’ve seen pictures from the other cities on her Facebook – and one thing I noticed — she’s never at the table!  I wasn’t sure if maybe she didn’t have one, or there were a ton of people – or WHAT the deal was.

Well, I got my answer. 🙂

Right about the time I was expecting her to sit down behind the table, she walked over to Matt and I, and just started talking. After we told her our names, it clicked who we were, and how she knew us. And it just went from there.

I really loved and admired that she spent SO much time with us (and everyone else!)  I mean, we discussed what Matt and I did for a living – several rounds of hugs, and pictures all around. We talked about Matt getting back into fiction – we chattered a bit about what her next book is going to be about (I’ll never tell…), and then we got to signing books.

That, was the first time we even touched the table, honestly. Which, I really thought was unique. It’s not what I’d expect, to see someone up and about, interacting with everyone. But I loved it. It was really refreshing, and since the crowd was on the smaller side, she was able to spend a lot of time with each person. Sadly, that will probably not be the case when she tours with Dekker to promote Sovereign!

Since she’d asked him about his music over Twitter, Matt gave her one of The Secret Post’s CD’s, which she in turn took and showed off to everyone in line at the signing – and to those of us who joined her at Panera afterwards! It was the coolest thing. Made me smile.

After the signing, we left and headed for Cool Greens, a salad/sandwich place to eat.  Amy, one of my hydro moms had suggested it. The menu looked great, so we checked it out.   It wasn’t too hard to find, again, Matt’s iPhone saved the day.

They have sandwiches, salads, pizza, wraps, and soups.  We got salads – which they make in front of you, ala Subway.   They were amazing. Absolutely amazing.   So was the appetizer we got – this Mediterranean hummus/bread/Mediterranean relish .  Oh my goodness, it was so good. Worth the drive!

After lunch, we still had time to kill. So we hit up a nearby mall. While we were there, we saw a cupcake store.   But, they didn’t look as yummy as the ones at Lolli and Pop’s here. So we passed.

But, wait!

Lolli and Pop’s have a location in OKC!

Not…that I could remember which mall it was in. So, there goes that idea. Instead, we went on a mad dash through the mall. I was in search of a bathroom.  And for such a big mall, it took WAY too long to find one.

And when we did find it?  There was a line that…. well, I don’t have a good comparison. But it was WAY too long. And we were running late. We didn’t have time to wait.

But, as we searched for it, guess what we did find?

Image

Sadly, they didn’t carry cupcakes. Probably because of the cupcake store we saw….

So, we looked around, and then we left.

Well, after I did this:  Image

Poor guy. He’s turned into my personal picture guinea pig.

I admit, I wanted to take a picture with him… but, I’m HORRIBLE at selfies. And employee’s kept walking by.  I don’t mind looking weird, but there’s a limit. Even for me – if you’d believe that….

Now when we left… .. here’s where the kink happened.

Okay. Not kink. Bad word choice. More like, the monkey wrench.  Fly in the ointment – pick your cliché, but here was trouble.

Though to be honest, the trouble started when Matt almost ran over an old lady in the mall parking lot, but I’m going to be a good wife and not blog about that… 

Matt’s phone, the one that was saving our you-know-whats by giving impeccable directions —– died.

Kaput.

Uh-oh.

Now… we’re left with my phone.

My not-so-smart phone.

It has NO available space. So, I’ve uninstalled every update I had on both Maps, and Navigator.

We’re basically up a creek without a paddle.

After some…. tense moments and some screeching on my part… we finally figured out where we were  – and were we needed to be. We were ten minutes late, but that was okay. No big deal.

Especially when we went inside, and no one was there yet.

Now, we were meeting Tosca, and a few of her fans at Panera.

No, not fans. Her luminaries. 

I’ve mentioned it a bit before on here, but I’ll explain again.

Tosca has, for lack of a better term, a street team that she’s started. Some of the people were personally invited by her, (as I was,) over Facebook or Twitter.  Others, she posted on her Facebook, inviting anyone interested to join.  The group is called the Midnight Garden, and it’s members, her Luminaries.

What’s the most cool about this arrangement, is that she pops in pretty much daily, and chats with people. Whether answering questions, asking questions, or pointing out certain things we can do to help.   Oh, and there’s bacon. And midnight dance parties. Zombie walks too, I kid you not.

Now, with every stop this tour, she’s gone out somewhere with the local Luminaries after the signing, and just spent some time talking and hanging out. I LOVE that. How many authors do you see doing that — let alone New York Times Bestselling authors?

None, that I know of. Then again… I don’t know many. 🙂

Eventually, we recognize some people from Mardel, chat a bit. and we find a table and stake out a spot.

I’m already pretty happy. I have a coffee drink in a porcelain mug with whipped cream and deliciously unhealthy sugary syrups drizzled over it. Now, we have our small group of 5 people, Tosca, and her escort for the day, Chris. (Who was SO nice. He works with her publisher, and basically, he’s who Tosca bribes to sell her book. 😉 )

It was beyond fun.

We sat and talked for about an hour. Part of it was random, but she started off by having everyone say how they ended up at the table, at that very moment… and one thing that no one knew about us.

Ohhhh, that game. I loathe that game! ACK!

But, I lived through it, and it did start some good conversations.  Everyone there seemed pretty cool – I was glad to meet them! Hopefully we’ll get to do it again. 🙂

We only got to chat for an hour – Tosca and Chris had dinner plans they had to get to. But it was a great experience.  Everyone was nice, down to earth, and chatty.

Honestly, I was afraid it’d be a group full of people who had egos, or had met Tosca a million times, or… I don’t know. I always expect the worst, I think. But, at least I’m always pleasantly surprised. 🙂

It does seem though, that most of the Luminaries are creative or very intelligent.  Lots of authors in this group.  The three people there besides Tosca, Chris , Matt and I? All three authors of some sort. It’s nuts.

Doesn’t help me much, it’s admittedly got me itching to write something.  The Project Pixie Dust scripts are fun, but it’s not completely cutting it.   I’ve got something started… but I don’t want to share details just yet. We’ll see though…

^ We were supposed to be contemplative.  I couldn’t think of a thing other than headdesking.  Ah well…

We’d planned on seeing A Good Day To Die Hard, but on the drive back to Owasso, we decided we were hungry. Dinner ranked more important than a movie. Even with John McClane, and lovely, awful, unhealthy nachos….

So, we went for sushi.

Ladies and gentlemen…. we were in and out of sushi train in 14 minutes.

FOURTEEN . This never happens!

Then, we headed for the mall. For MY Lolli and Pops. And the Disney Store… 

I ended up with these beauties:

Image The lighter pink frosting is champagne , (it was good, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the peanut butter cup one! Maybe it’s because it was the end of the day?)  The other one is strawberry, with fresh strawberries baked in.  I’m dying to try it! But, I’m making myself wait until tomorrow. 🙂

After that, we breezed through the Disney store. Almost bought a few coffee cups – and tried to leave with a Stitch plush, but in the end, refrained. 🙂

And now, we’re sitting at home – and Matt is patiently waiting for me to finish typing this blog , so he can read it.

It’s not finished yet, mind you. At the moment, I’m waiting on Tosca to post pictures from the signing/luminary meet up. So it’s not being posted when I finish writing it. But he’s demanding to read it. . . .

It’s like he doesn’t trust me. What does he think I’ll do? Wait two months to write a… .

Oh.

Whoops.   Nope. I totally understand it now. 🙂

Anyway.  Good gracious, I’ve written a novel.  Sorry bout that.  It gets worse too – I still haven’t blogged about my thoughts on Iscariot. And oh boy, do I have them.  Lots of feels. And thoughts. And oh-my-god-why-did-this-book-make-me-cry’s.    If you haven’t read it… I really couldn’t suggest it enough!  It’s absolutely phenomenal.

Have any of you read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Lack of Sleep, Lollie’s, and Luminaries…