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February 26, 2006


Whew, I know Valentine�s Day is SO over but 1) I�m still basking in the afterglow and 2) I�ve been crazy busy since and I�m just getting some downtime this weekend. And by downtime, I mean getting an oil change, an inspection and renewing the registration on my �Yota, cleaning my house, doing homework, doing piles of laundry, preparing for a Monday morning training session and putting in some serious Chibi Robo time.

I�m sitting in Greenville Toyota right now getting two of the above things done and while I have crowed about how nice it is here in the past, I�ll be holding off on that today. They are going through some serious renovations and I�m currently sitting in a doublewide that is serving as their waiting room. Hopefully, they are updating their old waiting area to match the rest of their dealership, particularly the Scion area (though they are tearing the roof off the Scion area right now so who knows what they are planning?) All I know is I'm in a car dealer on a Saturday morning and I haven't had coffee yet and I'm not exactly feeling fresh & fruity.

I�ll be leaving here to go to Starbucks to fuel up with a venti Caf� Americano so I can get through all the rest of my stuff. I'm hoping they still have free wireless ... it seems during the renovations here, their router ended up somewhere in a box so I'm reduced to writing in Word and posting later. Oh well, the best laid plans and all that.

Back to Valentine�s Day. Valentine�s Week, I should say. WARNING: If you have an aversion to reading lengthy posts that quite possibly contain giant hunks of cheese, and you know who you are, stop reading now! If you do decide to stop, though, you'll miss a review of a pretty awesome concert and more details of a childless weekend away in a hotel room and you'll never know what I said to the Internets about it. Just sayin'.

Now, I�ve never been a fan of Valentine's Day. While I was married, it was a non-holiday, just another reminder of the HUGE mistake I had made. In the time since, I had convinced myself (with a lot of help from a negative black hole of a friend) that Valentine�s Day was just another evil excuse to make men feel inadequate and women feel disappointed by setting our expectation bar so high that no one could ever come close to reaching it. No matter who you were, we reasoned, you were bound to lose out on Valentine's Day. Even kids get into the emotion manipulation with classroom Valentines and candy overload. I ended up boycotting anything and everything Valentine-like to show my solidarity with my friend.

Since then, I have realized that we most often hate the things we don't/can't have the most to steel ourselves from pain and disappointment. This has been proven time and again over the past 2 years with so many things I formerly hated ... church, Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day ... seems a little happiness can go a long way to healing old wounds.

This year was different for me. Why? I have someone to actually call my own. Is that the only difference? Maybe not. Maybe I�m not so jaded anymore now that I�m with someone wonderful. Maybe my cynical side is slowly atrophying enough so that I can allow my loving, sweet, hopeful side to blossom.

Oh, I�m still anti-social. That part is hardwired. Here I am in a very public place where everyone seems perfectly fine and I�m sitting in a tiny room off the main sitting room of the waiting room, watching everything going on around me and interacting only with my laptop, as usual. I still separate myself from people at work, unwilling (unable?) to become one of �them�. I will always rather stay home than go out to a party or hurl myself into a crowd.

Maybe the only thing that is different is that I have someone. Maybe just knowing someone knows and understands and accepts and still loves in spite of it all is enough. Maybe he is just what I�ve been missing all my life. Could I really be so lucky?

Oh, I see you out there rolling your eyes, cringing that this is degenerating into a sentimental pile of cheese but you know what? It is and I know it is and I am emotional and you�ve always known that about me and you also know that I don�t let it out (read: put you through it) nearly as much as I want to and sometimes I really do get afraid that if I don�t let it out I�ll become so used to keeping it in again that I�ll forget how to let it out ever again and I�ll have to relearn how to love all over and I don�t think I can go through that kind of pain again so take it from me, letting it out is good. You should try it sometime. You might get all asplodey otherwise.

Anyway � our Valentine�s Day lasted at least a week. It started with some nummy presents arriving though the mail on Tuesday and, though I was too tired to imbibe in them at that moment, they were fully enjoyed when my Valentine showed up at my doorstep on Thursday afternoon. (�Wink, wink, nudge nudge! Say no more �� )

We had a full weekend of local insanity, which included watching DVDs and the Olympics on TV, a nice dinner at the OG without the kids, a trip to the movies with the monkey-loving girl (Curious George was soooo cute!!) and various shopping outings over the weekend so I could splurge a little with my tax return before we set off for our trip. YES! We took a trip. A trip to another state which required an overnight stay WITHOUT THE KIDS!!!!!!!! OMFGWTFBBQ!!11!!1!! HAhahaha!!!!! Hehe! Ahem �

Well, I was excited! This was our first real trip of any length without the kids and it would really show us whether or not we travel well together. Also, following on the heels of quite a bit of time without the kids over the weekend, it really made us feel like we could be ourselves and be a couple and do just what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it without having a major discussion about it and you know what???

I liked it.

YES, I feel guilty for enjoying my time away from my kids but only about *this* much. Which is not much. Which, apparently, upset the girl to no end but hell, when do I ever get to just do and be and enjoy and BREATHE without someone clinging to me?

No, I don�t really resent their neediness as much as it seems that I do. I know it�s my own fault that I have two not-so-small people that need me every minute of every day of their lives and yes, I realize I better enjoy it now before these days are over and I am faced with an empty house and nothing and no one that cares whether I�m there or not but that is then and this is now and right now I ENJOYED BEING AWAY FROM MY KIDS!


We will be visiting why I feel the need to justify at a later date.

About the trip ... that was part of our Valentine's present to each other. (yes, I got a present for VD ... ME ... w.o.w...) If you remember three months ago I was going absolutely nutso for some tickets, the first of those two concerts was on Monday night. YES, we were headed to the Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA stop on the Switched On tour of INXS. When he asked if we were doing Valentine's Day, I told him I thought the tickets were my present and that my present to him would be a hotel for the night so we wouldn't have to drive 3 hours back to Greenville at an ungodly hour.

Best idea ever.

Not only were we able to rest a bit before the concert, we got to cruise the mall that was attached to the lobby, score some EXCELLENT bargains at a going-out-of-business Suncoast, and have some dinner at a rather liesurely pace (even though the service gave us some minor fits). And did you know you get a huge, warm, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie when you check into a Doubletree Hotel? OMGasm.

And the concert ... OH ... let me tell you, I was over the top for this show. We were both tightly wound all day and got moreso the closer it got to 7, when the doors would open. We scored an amazing parking space right across the street from the gorgeous venue, got in a relatively short line at the door pretty close to the t-shirt vendor, got our t-shirts (can anyone tell me why vendors don't stock more t-shirts in XL and 2X when so much of the ticket buying public is that size? I had to settle for an unpretty shirt because it was the only 2X they had and I knew a XL would not give the girls any room to breathe). Once we finished paying, we found where we would be sitting and strolled around the lobby looking at all the old folks that were there at the concert.

HAhaha!! Old folks ... he constantly remarked that the audience was full of people that were our age, which tickles me because I have 6 years on him but whatever ... I appreciate him making me feel younger than I am. Part of his charm. To be fair, we saw people from the ages of 8 - 80 there ... I don't think I've ever seen such a diverse crowd at a concert.

(I have no misconceptions that Motley Crue will be like this ... )

We had really good seats in the dress circle ... they weren't on the floor but they weren't nosebleed, either ... and we had a clear shot of the stage. We settled into our seats and people watched, checking out the stage and the lighting design. Since we've both been in stage productions, we know just what goes into these shows and that makes us appreciate them even more. Let me tell you, the sound system set up for this gig was phenomenal but I don't think we realized how good it would sound until the opening band took the stage ... which was ... Marty Casey & the Lovehammers!!!!!!

I was a fan of the Lovehammers before we got to the show but when they took the stage and completely commanded it for 45 minutes, I became a lifetime member of the Lovehammers fan club. In a word ... WOW. This is a band that enjoys playing together, that knows how to keep a show moving and get the audience on its feet. The music was tight and the lyrics were both accessible and intelligible for first time listeners. I was already hooked on 3 or 4 songs off their new album but after that show and listening to them nonstop all week, I'm hard-pressed to find a song I DON'T like. T would say I like them just because Marty is the lead singer and I have to agree to a point ... I was seriously rooting for him to win RockstarINXS to the point of crying when he didn't. Marty embodies the kind of singer I really like. He's a musician first, he sings with passion about things that mean a lot to him and he puts his whole body and soul into his music. He is sexual without forcing it, naturally open onstage and genuinely in touch with his audience. When he takes the mic, you know it's because he LOVES what he does, not because it's a job. I truly believe that the Lovehammers would put this much of themselves into every show whether they were opening up for INXS or playing in their basement ... I'm just glad the world is getting a chance to meet them.

Yeah, Marty Casey is a Rock Star and his band complements him well. He is larger than life while they support him but together they work as a cohesive unit. Phenomenal show.

Personal highlights:

Listening to the audience sing along to songs I know so well, especially when he sang Trees, the entire place was singing!

Marty was all over the place, from the footlights to scaling the speakers at the back of the stage and even into the audience to connect up close and personal. Excellent energy.

Like a good front man, he kept the show going ... only stopping twice to talk for any time with the audience (once to thenk INXS, which I thoguht was classy, and to announce that they would be signing autographs after the show) and once to introduce a 'special song that you all know, something we hope everyone will sing along to ... and it was ...

Ring of Fire!!! What a great cover, a great choice as evidenced by the entire audience on its feet singing along ... a salute to the man in black which was very fitting and very cool.

Personal lowlight:

When I screamed like a little girl when Marty walked onstage. I couldn't help it. The scary conductor dude commanded me.

After the rocking 45 minute Lovehammers show (which could have gone on longer, IMHO), we had a 15 minute intermission before INXS. During this time, we listened to the chatter around us and chatted ourselves. The brood of hens behind us was busy clucking away about how excited they were to see JD, single-finger texting and talking at the same time until it sounded like we were in the middle of a barnyard. I made quietly snarky comments and clucked along with them to kill time, hoping to get T to smile, which I did. *yay*

Then it was finally time for INXS. We waited 20 years for this concert and we were both on pins and needles, not knowing how we would stomach JD as a front man. As I said in my last post about this, I loved Michael and mourned his passing bitterly ... JD is no Michael Hutchence ... but he sure did try to act like him (key word there being act).

Opening strains of Suicide Blonde filled the concert hall and I felt T cringe ... not fair, them hitting him with his favorite right off the bat but, as he said, better to get it over with rather than dread it all night, like I had to with 'Never Tear us Apart'. Once the band got going, I could feel T relaxing into the experience ... this was, after all, INXS. While looking at and listening to JD made me more than slightly nauseous, I came up with the unique trick of focusing on the BAND, the guys I have loved for 2 decades, and avoiding JD. Unfortunately, it looked to me as if he was working very hard to get everyone to notice him, which gave me the distinct impression that he was still auditioning for the gig he had already won. I'm not sure if it was just me or what but I didn't see a cohesive whole on the stage. I got a very standoffish vibe from some of the bandmembers but I may have been wanting to see that.

We came up with the trick of, whenever JD did something that totally annoyed us (cunnilingus on the mic stand *ewwwww* during 'Taste It', dry humping the speakers or talking waaaaayy too much between each and every song), we would give the band a thumbs up with our thumbs conveniently over the space where JD was standing. Now, I went in there wanting to give the boy a chance ... after all, he has helped my boys get back into the fickle favor of the music listening public ... and I do have to admit that I like most of "Switch", the new album ... but those songs were written for JD to sing and he can hit those notes. When he tried to hit the chorus on Don't Change and he had to use an obnoxious falsetto, it about killed me. I almost had to leave until the song was over. (For the record, Marty KILLED Don't Change on Rockstar and I listen to the MP3 just about every day, so this was a real disappointment). JD, DO Change ... the way you sing that song.

Personal highlights:
Kirk was having a blast, his sax sounding as sexy as ever. He showed off his amazing musical versatility, too, switching back and forth from sax to guitar with ease. Always a little freaky-deaky, sometimes the interplay between him and JD left me feeling uneasy, as though I wanted to shower.

Andrew was quietly awesome on keyboards, a maestro that knows his work will stand up to the test.

Jon was HOT and on point on drums (though I've read since that he was coming off being ill, there were no signs that night).

Tim was supremely cool on his gorgeous guitar (and looking pretty hot for an old guy!), flinging his sunglasses off at one point and tossing picks into the audience. He's not flashy but he is a riveting presence ... and in leather pants, no less!!

As for Garry ... he was looking good, sounding amazing and having FUN. I always did have a thing for bass players and he is an enigmatic one.

Personal lowlights:

How much JD bothered me. I tried. Really I did. I WANTED to like him in spite of everything I had seen on the show. Instead of the raw sexual energy that Michael brought to stage, the kind that mesmerized you and made you squirm every time you looked at him, JD is all panting masturbation and sexual frustration. Like a clumsy puppy that wants to please his master so badly he ends up peeing on the carpet, JD just tried too damn hard. His Elvis roots were showing, too, something that I don't think I'll ever be able to get over.

Also ... Afterglow brought me to tears ... I miss Michael. Period.

Never Tear us Apart ... my favorite INXS song, 'our song' in my mind, especially since reimmersing myself in their music over the last 8 months or so. It hit me how much I loved it, with Kirk's sexy sax waiting and the audience singing right over JD ... all I wanted to do during the song was slow dance with my guy and I didn't have the guts to reach out and grab him, or even to sing it to him. I knew he was dealing with his own anti-JD emotions and I didn't want to intrude on his intensity for my needs. He's all I think about when I hear it, though. And now he knows.

Highlights from the trip:

The P & S Oasis, a gas station from another century. Not only was it in the center of a one stop-sign town, it had gas pumps from the early days of horseless carriages. We looked at them when we drove up and laughed because neither of us were sure we knew how to use them! I let T be the man and rescue me � seriously, it�s been over 10 years since I went into a gas station to pay for gas. No pay at the pump?? Surely you jest!! The sign on the window boasted that they served Oasisly Fried chicken, whatever the hell that was.

How well we traveled together. True test of a relationship is if you can sit in a car together and drive down the most boring highway in the world and not kill each other and not run out of things to say. (US 17 is just that, 2 lanes and nothing, but NOTHING to look at ... but we had a GOOD time just being together.)

Just being with my best friend. Yeah ... Best Valentine Ever ... he is.

*it took me 2 days to write this post ... I started yesterday morning and just finished tonight. I did a whole lot in the in between time but I just didn't feel like going back to change the details and verb tenses so ... there you are. Imperfect, warts and all.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on February 26, 2006 11:10 PM.

A bad weekend for character actors was the previous entry in this blog.

Which Fraggle Rock Character am I? is the next entry in this blog.

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