Every day has it’s own Awesome Things – just be open to them

You know how sometimes last night can leak over into today and set your day off wrong.  That was me this morning.   Some halfwit kept texting my HOME PHONE, which would ring and I’d get a message from a disembodied mechanical voice saying something profound like “hey, you there dude” – a literal translation of the text.  Nice.  I could have turned it off, but my lovely daughter was out partying (she’s leaving for Australia on the weekend) so I kept thinking (fearing) it was her.  So no sleep for me.  

I was feeling pretty damn cranky this morning  – I slept in, it was pouring rain when I went out at 6am to walk the pooch and I was tired from double shifting it after work at my last couple of sword fighting classes (a whole other post) and the start of my dragonboat practices for the season.   It was shaping up to be a crap day. 

Then a simple little grace note came into my morning.  In a desperate scramble to get dressed I came upon a brand new pair of lace tights, still in their wrapper.  Sorry guys, I know you won’t get this one (and if you do for goodness sake please don’t share) but new tights are so smooth and fresh and silky – one of life’s little treats.  Awesome #1. Then I went to the closet and found my fav little black dress  – still in fresh dry cleaner wrap.  Awesome #2.  My morning was starting  to turn around. 

I got a seat on the bus and one of my favourite songs came on when I hit shuffle on the iTouch (Awesomes #3 and #4).  The song’s “Wounded” written by Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind.   I love, love, love these lyrics – I hope you do, here is the video and I put the lyrics below, they are poetry.  I wonder how Charlize feels about it, but heck if you are in a relationship with someone who writes songs like this, you have to know that sooner or later you are going to end up in a song.  

The guy who put his hands on you
Has got nothing to do with me
And the bruises that you feel will heal
And I hope you come around
Cause we’re missing you
You used to speak so easy
Now you’re afraid to talk to me

It’s like walking with the wounded
Carrying that weight way too far
The concrete pulled you down so hard
Out there with the wounded
Missing you

Well I never claimed to understand
What happens after dark
But my fingers catch sparks at the thought of touching you
When you’re wounded

Let me break it down till I force the issue
We miss your face and you know I wish you
Would come back down to the Dalva Bar
You tell them, that’s just my battle scar
I want to kiss you
And knock them down like we used to
You’re the marigold
Till you’re walking down shaking that ass again
And then you walk on baby walk on
You walk on
On and on
You’re an angel in the pit with her hands in the air
And we’re missing you

Now its fall, and your shoulders get tighter
Nervous flicks on the lighter, boots
Your pissed off poets, your women’s groups
And the friends with you, we should have known this fool
Well I guess we missed the mark
Still my fingers catch the sparks at the thought of
Them touching you
Now you’re wounded

Let me break it down till I force the issue
You never come around, and you know we miss you
Well nobody took your pride away, I said
That’s something people say
Back down the bully to the back of the bus
Cause it’s time for them to be scared of us
Till you’re yelling, how we living cause you got the ball
Then you rock on baby, rock on, your rock on
On and on
You’re a summer time hottie with her socks in the air
Screaming I don’t care baby I don’t care

You say you don’t know
You say you don’t grow
All I know is we’re missing you

You say you don’t know
You say you don’t grow
All I know is we’re missing you

Show up
Show up wounded

My very favourite line is “my fingers catch sparks at the thought of touching you”  – Awesome #5 (or maybe 4a).  And if you have now, or ever had in the past, someone in your life that engenders that sort of passion – that’s a double Awesome Thing.

Awesome #6 – discovered my phone was dead but that my BB charger (for work) will charge both the BB and the smartphone.  Super awesomeness.

And today I finished up a bunch of annoying, mental energy sucking personal little to do things and one huge, time-sucking and tedious work project – Awesomes #7 and 8. 

So if you are having a really bad day, try to look for the little things, the awesomes, that can turn it around.   They are all around us, in every part and action of our lives,  we just have to recognize them.  Have an awesome tonight and tomorrow.

The Dealbreaker List (Part 2 – the actual annoted list)

My last post was so long, I had to break it down, so here is Part 2 of the Dealbreaker list . .

Dealbreaker Lists are really popular in blogland.    A surprising number of woman have these lists of things they say are dealbreakers in any prospective relationship.   And online dating sites (not that I’d’ know personally . .  .hahahaha) abound with them.    All the must have’s, and must likes, categories and filters.

And while the details may vary slightly, the themes remain the same – the women are looking for good, solid, reliable, financially and emotionally stable husbands and fathers.  Most of the dating blogs are written by women in their late 20’s and early 30’s and what I have come to realize is that what is important to them is completely different from what is important to me, someone who is (slightly, but not much) older, hopefully a bit wiser and most assuredly not looking for husband or father material.     Even on the dating sites, it’s all about either “finding your soulmate” or hooking up for an “intimate encounter”.   And everyone has their list.   Not that I’d know .  . .but I read it somewhere . . .research for my blog . . .  .

The list below is from 1000 Days of Celibacy on Blogspot.  I’ve added my comments below each item in italics.

My Next Boyfriend:

1. Must Live Alone. No roommates. No parents. No excuses why MY house must become his second home and why I was never allowed to step foot in his bedroom… Hmmm…

Hmm, I like my house;  I know exactly when the sheets were changed, the shower was cleaned and I have a great cappuccino machine.  And then he has to deal with getting home at 6am . . .so I don’t care if he lives with his granny and 3 cats – ok, maybe I would but you get the picture – my place is just fine.

2. Must have a job. A Good Job. He has to make enough to take me out for dinner – not lobster, but Denny’s isn’t doing it.

How do you define a “good” job? What you get paid is no barometer.   What I would not respect is if he was doing something he hated just for the money and then was bitter about it.  I would probably draw the line at panhandler, but there are lots of great guys doing what they love or what they are talented at, not making a whole lot of money, but they are happy.  THAT is way more important.  And for dinner and money, see 4. below.

3. Must not be selfish. This is a tough one, it’s like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Must not be a selfish lover – otherwise I really don’t care  – I’m only in for good time, not a long time. But a selfish lover is a dealbreaker!

4. Must buy dinner for at least the first 3 dates. Again. Pot of gold.

Really?   Well, I earn  enough to pay for my own dinners if I choose to go out.  Or maybe I’ll buy him dinner.  That would be kind of fun.  Very Sex in the City.  I could get into that actually now that I think about it . . a kept man . . hmmm, very interesting.

5. Must initiate “The Talk” within 3 Months – ON HIS OWN.

I’m not even sure what “The Talk” is, but if it’s that one about committing and getting serious, I hope he never initiates it and if he does I’ll be out the door in about 3 seconds.

6. Must like to fish or be willing to fish.

I don’t care if he likes my hobbies – they are mine and I have friends that I do them with.  And as long as he doesn’t expect to indulge his hobbies (like watching 10 hours of sports on TV) at my place, I don’t really expect to be involved in his or for him to be involved in mine.  Well except music . . .a musical Neanderthal would be a dealbreaker for me.

7. Must have sense of humor…or at least understand mine.

Ok, I’m down with this one.  Make me laugh, I’m a friend forever.  If I’m bored, mad or sad – I’m outta there.

8. Must be willing to become a partner in both business and life.

Not even on my radar.  I have my own business and my own life.  Must be fun and entertaining – that about covers it for me.  Oh and maybe willing to occasionally stay up all night getting crazy – that would be good.

9. Must bring something to the table…and not take away.

My list would be short of what he’d need to bring . . .but short would not be a favourable attribute . . .

10. Must be willing to communicate (text/call/email) at least once every two days.

God, spare me.  I’m busy, I have my own life.  Post something on Facebook so I know you are alive.  But don’t bug me all the time I have things to do.  If I need to get in touch with him, I will.   Oh and late night texts . . totally acceptable.

11. Must enjoy traveling.

Must appreciate traveling, but not necessarily want to do it with me.  And most definitely  must not care that I travel a lot with friends and go on crazy rock star road trips . . .

12. Must want a serious relationship.

Shoot me in the face.

13. Must not have any major inner demons – alcoholism, latent homosexuality, manic depression.

I’ll give her this one – but mostly because I don’t want to deal with it.  If he can keep it well hidden or otherwise under my radar – then it’s not a dealbreaker.    Well except jealousy – THAT would be a dealbreaker for me.

14. Must not have an overbearing mother.

Please God that I NEVER have to meet his mother.

15. Must be open-minded.

ABSOLUTELY!!!!

16. Must be gracious – my love can be bought…for the right price.

Gracious means something else to me – it’s not about money.   My love can only be given away freely by me, there is no price tag.  But I appreciate kindness and old fashioned manners – that’s graciousness for me.

#17  – Must be a simple man capable of love.

Capable of love is good, but so is being mercurial, complicated, moody, unpredictable – it’s keeps things interesting.  After all, I only want to date him, not marry him.

What I have come to realize from this little exercise is that my expectations in dating land are a bit, well, unusual and I have no idea how that is going to work out. . . but I’ll keep you posted, because I’m out there giving it a try.

I’m sitting watching the Juno’s while finishing up this post and the best performance of the night so far was, hands down, Down With Webster.   They brought enthusiasm, energy and a fantastic show.   I just LOVE it when kids get up there and kick ass on a show like this . . . which has been otherwise way too CBC for my taste.   Here they are with Time to Win – it’s give you some idea of the crazy energy their shows have.

The Dealbreaker List – Part I: It’s all Rock and Roll to me.

One subject I rarely write about on my blog is “dating” and all the euphemisms that stands for.  Why not? First, there are enough dating blogs out there, I mean there are a LOT and they are almost universally by woman about how men are either really great and they are sleeping with as many as possible in as short a time as possible or why men  are not so great and they are avoiding them altogether (or at least taking a celibacy vow for a period of time).  I’ve even come across some really evil ones designed solely to get back at ex’s – those are pretty interesting.    

But what they all concentrate on is MEN as the central and most important part of a woman’s life.   Funny thing is, I have looked and looked and looked and apart from a couple of extremely (and I can’t emphasize that enough) sophomoric ones – likely written by sad, lonely (but nonetheless hopeful) 14 years olds  – there are almost no blogs by men about their relationships.   The other exception is a couple of blogs written by guys who are cheating on their wives and keeping a record, or maybe scorecard of it.  Tasteful.   If I’m wrong and you can point me to a reasonable blog written by an at least semi-literate guy about his life and times in dating land, I’d be happy to know about it.  But so far I have looked and come up empty-handed.    Hmmmm – what does that say?  

Which leads me to the second reason, which is that I think we (meaning women) should have all sorts of more interesting things to write and think about in our lives then the overworked, overblown and over-analyzed subjects of men, relationships and “dating”.  Really.  Don’t we have jobs, interests, activities, reading, thinking, movies, books and about a million other things to occupy our thoughts other than men and whether we do, or don’t have one?  Seriously, I know I do which is why I have chosen not to write about it.  But apparently I’m in a minority if the blogs out there is anything to go by.   Having /not having a man; having/not having sex; being/not being in a relationship seems to be the central focus of so many women’s’  lives, which I think is just a bit sad.  Focus on yourself, be happy and other things will fall into place, with the proviso, of course, that you WANT to be in a “relationship”.   Some of us are supremely happy being single by choice.  

But I do nonetheless feel that it leaves a bit of a gaping hole in my self-expression to write absolutely nothing on the subject, so after much soul-searching, and probably still against my better judgment, I’ve decided to put up the occasional post on my “dating” experiences, or lack thereof, as the case may be.

I’ve been single now for a bit over 3 years now and early on I gave a lot of thought to what I should do about dating.  And what I decided was that I needed to spend some time getting myself back, reclaiming my own identity, which had been swallowed up and lost almost completely in my marriage.   I wanted the time to take back everything I felt I had given away for all those years, and it’s been great.  It was a bit like getting my tattoo – my body, my life, my decision.   I’ve had the time to reflect on my own needs and wants and think seriously about what I might want for the future. 

So for the past 3 years I traveled, partied, renovated my condo, got really fit, got to know ME again, raised my daughter, advanced my career and walked my dog, but I didn’t date anyone until really recently, and then only in the most casual sense of that word.   I actually thought that maybe that part of my life was pretty much over – that’s how little I thought about it – but no, I was wrong about that too.  Fate, that fickle mistress, still had a few surprises up her pretty little sleeve for me. 

I’m not a kiss and tell sort of gal, but suffice to say that I did dip my baby toe back into the pond and discovered, well, that I’d been missing out on some fun times!  And if there is one thing I am keen on, it’s having fun.  Maybe it’s because I”m a bit wiser and have more insight (?) or maybe it’s because now I feel like whatever I do it’s my choice, on my terms, and I no longer feel like I’m trading myself or my body for friendship, affection, love or self-esteem, but I have a whole new attitude.   I’m not about to go out and start wantonly sleeping around, but I’m not avoiding it anymore either.  The tricky part comes with deciding what “dating” is going to mean . . .is it just a sex thing, is it a friends with benefits thing, it is a movies/dinner and a few weekends away, or is it the whole shebang?   And then there are two parts that get even trickier.  Just because I decide what I want, it doesn’t necessarily follow that I will meet someone who is on the same page.   And because we (should) all be learning from our experiences, I find that what I think I want quite often morphs with different experiences.   Yes, I am a woman and yes, I do reserve the right to change my mind – as often as I want!!

Another interesting thing:  have you ever noticed how we all give out those personal vibes?   Well apparently the little neon sign above my head has changed from “Out of Order” to something like “Available” or “Adventurous” or  . .  .???    The things that have been happening to me are just hilarious.  And more so because I’m usually so oblivious to it.  I will be out with friends and they notice way before me that some guy is really interested and all I’m thinking is “why is this guy hanging around taking up space at our table”.  Hahaha – the guys have to practically Caveman me with a club before I even notice that they are trying to make time with me – once again I provide my friends with a few good laughs.     

The “taking up space at the table”  thing happened when we were out at the Yale one night.  I actually was thinking that and it simply did not occur to me that the young, really cute drummer was hanging around ME, until the peeps pointed it out and the people at the next table starting chatting with us as if we were there together.    Duh, wake up girl.  Fun times and a great ego boost.  I’ve gotten a bit better at picking up on the verbal/body language clues, but really, I have to learn to pay more attention.   

A couple of weeks ago in Portland on the Goos road trip the wingchick and I  ended up at a really fun after-party at the club in the casino.  We ran into 2 guys who had been partying it up during the concert in the seats in front of us  – that is until the real owners of the seats showed up and they got bounced back to their own back of the bus seats!  They were hilarious.  And fantastic dancers.   On a dance floor break we got around to the who you are/what do you do conversation (or something like that .  . it’s all a bit fuzzy .  .) and the younger and slightly less crazy bro that I’d been hanging with says  “Oh, I’m a musician, I’m a drummer in a band”.  Jeez, are you seriously kidding me  . . . the wingchick and I nearly fell off our stools we laughed so hard.  I’m thinking that’s not the reaction he usually gets, or was counting on, being a young, hot, drummer in a band!!!     Poor guy, the laugh was totally on me, because apart from whatever the other signs over my head say, they also apparently say “drummers under 30 apply here”.  Wingchick says I have to branch out and get other interests .  . .I”m trying, really . . .I had no idea!  But I seem to be on a bit of a roll with that one, and it’s not all that bad. . .  .just saying.   And don’t get me started on the “cougar” thing – it’s the only more annoying label I can think of than “groupie”.  Actually I’m going to do a whole post on that, it pisses me off that much.

I had to move the annotated Dealbreaker List over to a second post, since this one is already ungodly long.  Part 2 will be posted soon.

And I was a bit stumped for a song for this post, so I’m just going with one I love that says a lot about me .  .  Bad Religion’s 21st Century Digital Boy.  What’s not to love about Jay Bentley in blue body paint.   And I would note that Jay’s a bass player, not a drummer .  . .just saying. 

Time in a Bottle

There never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them

(Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle)

I’ve had the words to this great old Jim Croce song rattling around in my head since somewhere around Red Deer, on the highway back from our first Edmonton concert.  I knew there was a blog connected to them, I just needed the time to think through what and how and having recovered from the utter exhaustion and bout with a flu bug that greeted me coming home, it’s time to get back to some writing. 

The weeklong Goo Goo Dolls extravaganza was the fourth road trip the wingchick and I have embarked on, enough now that I am starting to have some perspective on what makes them so  . . .addictive.   I realize now that these roadtrips, like many of my adventures in the last couple of years, are not only about what I’m actually doing at the time, but also about creating memories.  The sort of memories that when I’m old and grey, and sitting on the porch in my rocker (chair, I mean, not some long-haired guy) I can look back on and say, wow, that was a life well lived.   The very first post I put up on my blog talked a lot about regret and how I don’t very often regret the things I have done, but that it was regret for the chances we pass up in life that would be the worst.  So in a way all these crazy adventures have been about saving up time and memories in the own personal memory bottle.

So how has that played out in real life in the past six months?   Well, I’ve sure done a lot.   I’ve said yes to a lot of things and really pushed the envelope of my personal experiences.  I ditched a job I had grown to hate and took a huge chance on a new one.  That has worked out so beautifully, I still wake up every day and thank my lucky stars.  It really is my dream job, and I couldn’t be happier.   I’m working harder and taking on challenges I never expected, but it’s so mentally stimulating and emotionally rewarding, I wouldn’t care if I was working all day and all night too.  Like many other things, once I committed to and made the change, all I wonder now is what held me, trapped, in bad circumstances for so long.  

I’ve also been pushing the envelope in my personal life, but the results there have been . . well . . pretty mixed.  I went on a few dates, something I hadn’t done for a long time.  I hadn’t dated at all since I found myself single again a few years ago, but I figured it was about time I tried that again as well.  I met some nice people and some not so nice ones.  I tested some theories I had about myself and discovered that, at least in certain areas, I’m less . . .shall we say experimental than I might have liked to think.    And also that saying yes is not always the best answer . . .definitely saying no is sometimes just fine thanks!! 

But there is always the possibility I might have gone about this dating thing in all the wrong way;  that my usual, impatient, “I can make anything I want happen”, bull in a china shop way is completely the wrong approach to the dating game.  And a couple of really great things have also happened because I took some chances, so for those I’m very thankful.    It has been quite a revelatory experience and the jury is still out on whether it’s been positive or not. 

And memories: well this little Goo Goo Dolls roadtrip added enough to ensure that I’ve got enough absolutely amazing ones to get me through a lot of afternoons in the rocker.  Good or bad, there are some incredible stories.   Driving from Calgary to Edmonton and back in a blizzard, meeting Donna, Bob, Damage and Andy in Edmonton and the funny moments that brought about for the rest of the roadtrip.   Being front row at the Commodore in Vancouver for the show there – that was AMAZING.   The 9 hour+ drive to Grand Ronde in the Willamette Valley, arriving at 7:40pm for an 8pm show only to find out there was no opening band.  The hilarious suitcase/makeup dump in the room and still making it to the show, dressed in full rock goddess attire, hair and make up done, by 8pm.  Now that was pro.   Meeting not one but two sets of brothers at the after party  .  . .did that guy really look like Axl Rose . . YES!   Were we really booting droppin’ all over the dance floor  . . hell yeah.  Funniest night of the trip, hands down.   The fluke find of our favourite Oregon winery, Erath, on the trip back to Tacoma.   And being at the best show of the whole roadtrip in Tacoma.   John R was in a crazy mood, he was hilarious, sexy, bad, gorgeous – all the things you want in your favourite rock star.  It was an awesome show and my favourite of the tour.

Rock God

my favourite barefoot, bass playing blogger

So in contemplating time saved, time wasted, time passing and time on hold; all the multitudinous ways we measure time in our lives,  the one thing I know with certainty is that anything I do that creates such wonderful memories, stories that I will enjoy time and time again, is not wasted time.   

I wanted a video of  “Wasted Time” by the Eagles for this post, but could not find a decent one.  Just crap covers.  But I did come across this gem – an original concert recording of Hotel California.  I saw these guys in California way back when they were originally touring (not the reunion tour that happened when hell froze over!)  . . now there is a memory.  Actually that whole trip is another amazing memory safely tucked away.    Enjoy, great music never gets old.

 

#290 Saying yes (via 1000 Awesome Things)

Isn’t it awesome when you are writing your own blog and someone else says the exact thing you were writing about . . perfectly! Now that’s awesome.

#290 Saying yes Chad came to visit last week. We've been friends since ninth grade and you may remember him playing important roles in my life like Neapolitan Shake Inspiration, Ticking Clock Monster, or Chocolate Milk Boy Genius. Chad's been there for me through the thick and thin. He's helped me through painful moments because his warm, easygoing manner and big buckets of kindness get people buzzing around him like moths on a porch light. We lived near each ot … Read More

via 1000 Awesome Things

Men are Fans but Women are Groupies?

International Women’s Day is marked  on March 8th every year.  It is a major day for the global celebration of women.  In different regions the focus ranges from a general celebration of respect, appreciation and love toward women, to a celebration of women’s social, economic and political achievements. 

I’ve been reading articles about the hardships that women face in many different parts of the world; the social, religious and economic oppression, as well as the physical abuse that calls itself “cultural tradition” – the mutilation of women’s genitals at the hands of their own families.   

I have  also just finished reading Portia de Rossi’s book Unbearable Lightness, about her struggles with anorexia and bulimia in an attempt to mold her already beautiful body into the form that was “acceptable” to the entertainment and fashion industry.   At her worst she weighed 82lbs – this is an adult woman – and yet was still being asked to do “fashion” spreads because she looked so good.  

Below  is a picture of Lara Flynn Boyle, also famous for being the “skinniest” actress of her time.   It’s horrific that anyone, anywhere, could find this attractive and not only encourage, but demand that women literally starve themselves to death to obtain this “perfect” look.  And so many people go along with the fiction that they are “just naturally skinny” and that these woman are not starving themselves to maintain this look.  Portia wrote  that she was eating under 300 calories a day to maintain her weight under 100lbs.  300 calories – that is a starvation diet.  

So where am I going with this little rant, and how does it relate to sports fans and groupies?   Women, and the men who choose to support them, can take up the cause for equality not only in the big issues, but also in the many small, culturally ingrained slights that we might not even notice.  Misogyny is defined in Wikipedia as

“. . .  a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female, it is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies. Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel for their own bodies”
One of the things I really enjoy doing is going to see live music.  I go because I love music and I love the excitement and drama of live concerts.  And as anyone who reads my blog knows, I go to a LOT of shows.  But that’s it, I go to shows, I dance, I  have a lot of fun, then I go home – alone.   Yet time and time and time again people say to me “Oh you are one of those groupies” and there is always a derogatory and sometimes faintly, but often overtly, sexual innuendo in that label, like I am doing something dirty and inappropriate.   And there is absolutely no basis for that innuendo, other than that I am a single woman who goes to listen to music.  
 
Yet a man who spends thousands and thousands of dollars to go and watch sporting events is never, ever called a groupie – they are a “fan”.  There is no derogatory sense or sexual innuendo in that word.  The NHL season is about 80 odd games.  So a season ticket holder would go to see about 40 hockey games, not including playoffs.  And while I usually have to listen to all sorts of “teasing” about traveling out-of-town with friends  to see a concert, no-one, that I’ve ever heard, questions when a group of men spends thousands of dollars on ONE ticket and travels to see the  Superbowl, or the US Open, or the Masters.  They are fans, I’m a groupie.
 
Do you see where I am going with this?  There is something profoundly one-sided in the equation.   Men can spend as much time and money on professional sports as they see fit, but as a woman I am continually having to defend my own personal choice to spend my own money, on my own time, to see rock concerts.  It’s misogynistic and I am quite willing to say that to anyone, man or woman, who ever calls me a groupie again.   It’s about fighting the small battles for respect and equality, as well as winning the big wars. 
 
So on International Women’s Day, let’s treat everyone as just, simply, a  person;  equal and equally entitled and carry that through not only to the big issues, but the many little ones that make up our daily lives.
 

If it’s Monday, I must be in Calgary – Road Trip Day 7

 

 

If you ever want to commit a serious crime in the vast frozen tundra that is Alberta in February, I’d strongly suggest doing it when it’s -20 and there is a major storm on the highway between Calgary and Edmonton. With all the emergency vehicles on the road in those conditions, the police presence in town must be seriously depleted. On our hellacious drive between those two lovely metropolises on Saturday afternoon we counted 25 carcasses (the remains of wrecked cars) flipped, over, crushed and otherwise torpedoed into the snow clogged ditches at the side of the road. The recent ones were surrounded by police, fire and ambulance crews, the slightly older ones were wrapped in yellow crime (or I guess just accident) scene tape and left lying as they came to rest – wheels in the air, windows smashed in, doors and panels torn off to extract the unfortunate passengers. And there was the wingchick and me, tooling along in our little rented Hyundai, risking life and limb (not to mention nerves and sanity) to get to Edmonton for the first stop of our Goo Goo Dolls Road Trip.

I was on day 5 of my road trip because I was in Phoenix for the preceding week organizing a conference for my employer, which was fun but completely exhausting, but it was officially Day 1 of the Goo Trip. My day started out way too early when I got up at 3:30am to catch my 6:30am flight out of Phoenix to Calgary. All went well till I hit the 5th ring of Hell, otherwise known as the United Airlines hub in Denver. What a gong show. My 2 ½ hour flight to Calgary was delayed 3 times for a total of 3+hours – and none of that was weather – it was either mechanical or just plain f*#@ ups by the incompetents that run airlines. First the plane was about 30 minutes late arriving from Salt Lake City, but it was ok, we boarded and taxied out and were lined up for takeoff when suddenly the plane powered down and we literally backed down off the runway. The aircon was apparently not working properly so we taxied back to the terminal and sat on the tarmac for an hour while a mechanic fixed it. Success!! Yeah, the pilot announces the aircon is fixed and all is good with our plane, but you know what folks, we have decided to take you off this plane and give you a better one for the flight to Calgary. Say what?? That’s what he actually said. So we get off and go to the gate where they tell us our new plane will be along “soon”. We are then shuffled around no fewer than 3 more gates over the next hour or so until finally a SMALLER plane arrives to tae us to Calgary. How this is an up sell, I can’t figure out. Now they have to get 4 “volunteers” to stay behind because the plane’s not big enough . . . you can’t make this stuff up. When no-one volunteers, they just arbitrarily yank 4 very unhappy people off. Nice. Once we are finally airborne we hit a storm and almost end up in Montana . . . but 3 ½ hours late we do eventually land in Calgary, where it’s now snowing like a bitch.

The drive was horrible, but we persevered and did, finally, arrive in Edmonton with 45mins to spare before show time. That means no time to go to our friends to shower and change; no it’s the classic road trip move – change in the parking lot – in Edmonton, where it’s -18. Fortunately the wingchick, a veteran of these affairs, had thoughtfully stowed a bottle of wine in her bag. There was a moment of panic till we confirmed it was a screw top – had it been corked I don’t know what would have happened – but off came the cap and we knocked that baby down out of paper cups in record time and felt a whole lot better! And off came the traveling clothes and on went the glam rocker chick gear, a quick stop in the casino washroom to repair hair and makeup and we were good to go J We are veterans! The opening act was Steven Page, former lead singer for the Bare Naked Ladies. He should have not screwed it up and stayed with the Ladies – seeing his solo show once was more than enough for me. And I’ve seen the revamped BNL a couple of times and they are just great.

After a quick stage reset, Johnnie, Robbie and the boys came on stage and put on a fantastic show and the misery of the day was . . .well almost. . . forgotten. We had a great time, although security was being über strict about no-one standing at the stage barrier. We had excellent seats in row 5, but if you want to shoot any video it’s great to be right at the stage, but no love, so no vid’s of this show. I’ll try tonight in Calgary. Here’s what I don’t get though. The wingchick and I had a brutally long and difficult day getting to the show, but once the Goo’s came on, we were on our feet, dancing and having a great time, as were most of the people at the venue. Just across from us, however, were 2 rows of well dressed, carefully made up and hair gelled in place 30-somethings – guys and girls – who did not get off their butts for the whole show. They sat there, looking cool (or maybe it was just bored) for the entire time. I just don’t get being too cool to have fun. And actually I’d trade being that “cool” for a down- home good time, anytime!! Seriously, talk about needing to get over yourself. I wanted to go over and say “hey, life’s short, stop working so hard at being cool, let your hair down and have some fun, damn it”. Hahaha, I wonder how that would have gone over J We met up with some friends after the show – they work on the production end – and had a few laughs before they had to hit the road to Calgary – it will be fun to see them again in Vancouver where they have a day off. It was a great night. I’d also hoped to meet up with a former Vancouverite friend who is living/working in the Edmonton area now, but that was not meant to be this time, which was too bad. One of those “Bad Timing” things . .

 

  

We are on our own down-day today – staying with the wingchick’s fam in Calgary, sleeping in, doing laundry, eating fresh fruit and veggies – getting our act together for the next few days. The Goo’s are at the Jack Singer Concert Hall tonight in Cowtown, the sound will be great, but I hope it’s not a sit down crowd; I hate to sit at concerts. The upside is I might get some decent video though. Heading back to Vancouver and work very early tomorrow morning (my 3rd 4:30am or earlier get-up in a week . . .). Lucky the time change means I can catch the first flight out and still be at my desk by 8:30am J Wednesday night’s show will be at the Commodore, the best venue on the West Coast and I have no doubt at all it will be an epic night. Even the crew was excited to be playing the legendary Commodore venue. Friday morning we are driving to Portland and then Seattle for the last two shows of the road trip. It’s going to be quite the week.