Wait….Am I Boring?

10 12 2012

Sometimes it takes a question as simple as ‘what’s new with you?’ to make you jump up and realize that things need to change.  Or sometimes to make you realize that things have changed.

Someone asked me that simple question a couple weeks ago, ‘what’s new with you?’ and I realized that for the first time in a long time, I had nothing to report.  After four years of a life that was constantly in motion, where I was in a constant stage of waiting for the next leg of the trip, with no need to make plans because something would always come up, and inevitably, any plans that I did make would have to be cancelled, the fact that I had nothing exciting to report, nor did I have any immediate plans, kind of threw me.

At first I rushed into immediate plans.  I headed to the city to get lost in the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle, trying to wake myself up from the West Seattle haze I had found myself in.  Don’t get me wrong, I love West Seattle, but not a ton of excitement minus the orca whale sightings.  I scoured the event listings and bought tickets for the Seattle Symphony, the holiday show at the 5th Avenue Theater, and found myself at the Showbox at the Market on a Monday night seeing ‘Walk Off the Earth’ live (who would have thought that youtube video we watched a year ago would come back around like this?). 

Showbox at the Market (Seattle, WA)

Showbox at the Market (Seattle, WA)

Walk Off the Earth "Somebody I Used to Know"

Walk Off the Earth “Somebody I Used to Know”

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Summer Jammin’

After that initial panic that I was wasting away my days, I realized that not being on the road and traveling constantly was actually a good thing.   It’s true that in the past few years I never had to make any plans for adventure because there was no way I could avoid a last minute trip to NYC, a weekend in Chicago, an opportunity to see Martha’s Vineyard, have access to concerts, or have the opportunity to sing ‘on the road again’ again and again as we drove straight across the country for the 5th time that year.  But for the past few years I never made plans.  It seemed like I could never make a dr’s appointment, much less attend a neighbour’s holiday party or BBQ.  I sounded like a recording stuck on repeat, ‘who knows where I’ll be.  I’ll let you know, but probably won’t be able to make it’.  And it’s a little hard to make new friends when you can never commit to spending time with them.

It hit me suddenly that now I have the freedom to MAKE PLANS.  To commit to a schedule.  What??  The value of having the freedom to commit to a schedule?  Who would have thought that that was important?  Well, I have now thrown myself into ‘planning’ wholeheartedly.  A girl’s night, a weekly grocery shopping trip, a holiday ornament exchange, hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party, attending a friend’s holiday party – all things that I can say have happened in the last week, or will be happening in the week to come.

So, what at first seemed like a horrible realization that the excitement in my life was dependent on the twists and turns of work (which means I’m actually a very boring person), has now turned into the fantastic realization that I’m in control of my own adventures (and that I’m not actually a boring person by nature), and part of that adventure is this new opportunity to put down some roots!

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A True Seattle Weekend

27 11 2012

I’m not going to say that I embraced American Thanksgiving full steam ahead…….but there did seem to be a lot of turkey, pumpkin flavoured things (Caramel Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie from Sunset Magazine) and more football than I thought I would ever see.  There was way too much food over a four day period, drinks-a-flowing, a mean game of Jenga and Taboo, and plenty of friends to enjoy it with.

But what made this holiday weekend memorable were the True Seattle activities.

I don’t know who isn’t excited for wildlife sightings,  but in West Seattle, besides Orca Whale sightings (which we did not see, although they did visit this weekend) the next best thing to see is a seal pup resting on the shore.   And this little guy was giving Nathan ‘goo goo’ eyes.

West Seattle Seal Pup

We got to enjoy a private tour of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.  From the very top of the stadium with rooftop views of the city and waterscapes, to walking on the field and hanging out in the home team dug out, and everything in between.

Safeco Field

 

On the Field. In the Dugout.

To end a weekend where the rained stopped and the sunshine came out to play.  We spent the evening at the Seattle Symphony for a performance by Brandi Carlile with the Symphony at Benaroya Hall.  Amazing Performance.  Amazing Acoustics.  

And what Monday morning is complete without a little bit of a Squid Fishing expedition?  More of a spectator this time, but just wait until next time!

Squid Fishing ‘Catch’

I’m starting to feel like a true Seattlite!

 

 





No Heads to Move

5 01 2012

You tend to know when something truly unique is happening to you.  It’s usually when everything is a little bit too overwhelming, when you’re experiencing sensory overload and when all you can really do is make a complete 360 turn and look around in awe.

It happened when I was surrounded by 600 hot air balloons taking off and it happened on December 16th.

Dec. 16th at the Tacomadome

When was the last time you didn’t have to sway back and forth like a metronome trying to see a concert between the heads of the people in front of you?  I don’t think I will ever experience another concert where my 5′ 2 1/2″ stature will have a complete unobstructed view of the stage.  And I LOVED it!  It was like a private concert and you forget that there’s close to 20,000 people behind you.  And…you get to see something you would never know was happening…the cameramen taking a break and chilling by the stage with a little portable espresso maker and some dark chocolate.  Pretty cool…





What to do without turkey on Thanksgiving

13 10 2010

No turkey.  No pumpkin pie.  No sticky rice (Chinese stuffing).

It was Canadian Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) and there wasn’t a single holiday dish on the table.  Rather than gorge ourselves on turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and all the other holiday fixings, we dressed to impress and headed downtown to the great theatre district of Detroit.  Which, apparently is a big deal, and we took in a show at the 100 year old Fox Theater.

Yes, that’s right.  Lady Antebellum.  Who would have thought a Sunday night concert would be packed with soccer moms rushing the stage trying to catch the attention and shake the hand of the male lead?

Check out the quick video to see for yourself…





ALL ACCESS

2 07 2010

Dave Matthews Band performed at the DTE Center in Clarkston, MI and we made sure to go visit our new friends.  It was a sold out show and the traffic line up to get in the outdoor venue was crazy!!!  So our All Access passes came in handy!

We had a wonderful opportunity to have freedom at the venue and see the concert from all angles.  We had an overall view from the top railing, we got up close and stood in the front row, just in front of the stage security, we went to the hospitality area behind stage to chat with the people behind all of the magic, and we watched the encore from stage right.

And to be even more obnoxious, when you watch the video you’ll see that the flip video couldn’t handle how close we were to the action.

And just before we left the venue, guess who walked by and said hello?  Brett Michaels.  He came to watch the show from backstage since he was performing at the venue the following day.





Bonnaroo Buzz

20 06 2010

When we landed at Bonnaroo, I thought, ‘this is very similar to Vancouver Folk Festival – I know what to expect.  It’s just bigger’.  Well, this experience was nothing like my experience at Folk Fest.  Not because it didn’t have a lot of different stages with an eclectic mix of music.  And not because it didn’t have thousands of people flocking together, where bathing suit tops, sarongs and flip flops were the dress code.  And definitely not because it didn’t have a delicious assortment of vender food and a huge assortment of jewelry, clothes and other arts and crafts to be sold.

It was so different because we were ensconced in the artists area, away from the masses.  And here, we were able to meet the people who put the whole festival together and see how things really work.  Here we met the sponsors, the hospitality crew, the bartenders, the volunteers, the production and camera crew, artist management, etc.  Really, we met all of the important people.

And what we realized was that everyone takes care of each other and here is where you get opportunities to see things and experience things you never thought that you would.

Years ago, at my very first Vancouver Folk Fest I watched Michael Franti & the Spearheads perform a long ways back from the stage.  And it was one of my favourite Folk Fest memories.  At Bonnaroo, I had the opportunity to watch the performance from stage left.

Jay-Z always puts on a good show.  But standing on an elevated stage left platform beside Stefan (from the Dave Matthews Band), a few feet away from Stevie Wonder, and across the stage from Beyonce, looking out at a sea of people as far as I could see, made a HUGE difference.  It took me a while to come down from that Bonnaroo Buzz.

Watching the Zac Brown Band perform on the elevated stage left platform also gave me the opportunity to notice that one of the guys just so happened to be wearing a Rocawear t-shirt and button up woven.  Guess our gifting worked!

And we just had to stay to see the Bonnaroo Finale – Dave Matthews Band performance.





Who knew I was such a fan

9 06 2010

Remember when I was SOO excited to be a “grown up” and be able to choose to be a ridiculous flighty teenager at the GLEE concert?  Well…I may have forgotten that whole ‘grown up’ part and turned into a ridiculous, screaming (well…I raised my voice) GROUPY. Some would even say that I fit right in with the 10 year old boys screaming for Simon and Ryan Seacrest.

Kidding.  Definitely Kidding.  I was not screaming for Ryan Seacrest (but I did take a picture of his car).

But I did manage to find my way into the Nokia Theater while I was in LA to watch the American Idol Finale performance show.  It’s just called, ‘being in the right place at the right time’.  Or, ‘eavesdropping on your booth neighbour and demanding that he find 2 tickets to the show and telling him that you were going to be his new BFF’.

Regardless of how it happened, I made it into the Nokia Theater, watched Lee and Crystal battle it out live and I’m embarrassingly admitting that I ran like a little school girl to the back of the theatre (with my new BFF saying, “Traci I ran for you, now pick up the pace”) and stood at the gates waiting for somebody (hopefully famous) to come through those back doors.  Well, we didn’t have to wait very long before Ellen and Kara came out and actually came up to take photos and sign autographs.  I was not properly schooled in the art of celebrity chasing so I awkwardly stood by the gate, half-heartedly called their names and unsuccessfully tried to take photos with them.

I did manage to get someone to sign my “Official American Idol T-Shirt”; however at first I didn’t know what her name was or which season of Idol she was really from.  But, it was a start.  From there we went to the front of the theatre where the current season Idol’s were making the rounds, taking photos, signing autographs and being interviewed.  After 30 minutes of hanging around I started to come out of my Idol frenzy and I thought to myself, “what am I doing?  I am NOT this person.  I’m not a groupy.  I have GOT to get out of here”.

After I slept off my Idol high, I headed back to the convention for the final day and tear down.  As soon as I got to the Convention Hall, which just so happened to be beside the Nokia Theater, I saw the media barricades, the red carpet and I started to feel a little tingle of excitement.  I mean, who finds themselves in the heart of the American Idol frenzy and doesn’t participate.  Don’t worry – I came prepared this time.

With my sharpie and American Idol T-Shirt in one hand and my camera and flip video in the other, I met up with my partner in crime and together we spent 3 hours at the back gates of the Nokia Theater.  I know, it’s a long time.  But you feel like you put so much time in that you should stay, and then you feel like if you leave you’re going to miss someone really good!!!  We saw a lot of people – Christina Aguilera, The BeeGees, a WHOLE bunch of past Idols, Alanis Morrisette, etc.  This time I committed to one primary goal – Autographs.

Here is the final list:

Kelly Clarkson, Kris Allen, Brooke (someone or other), Alanis Morrisette, Robin (from the BeeGees), Jordan Sparks, Reuben Studdard, Nick Cannon (America’s Got Talent host OR Mariah Carey’s husband), Orianthe, Kimberly Clark, AND Ellen Degeneres (however she only put on a dot because she couldn’t write on the shirt- but I swear it was her).

Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again, but at least I can say that I did it.

Check that off the list.  And I did get a couple of photos…