All About That Me-Time

I’ve sucked at blogging recently. I have to write about Angels in America, Half a Sixpence, and Once in the UK. And I saw Steve Kazee at 54 Below last Thursday but I haven’t written about that yet either. And my cousin’s wedding last week was gorgeous but where are the photos? Whoops. I’ve been lazy. Sorry, not sorry.

But I’m slowly starting to rediscover me. My passions. I’m going to pick up my guitar again (I swear goddamnit). I’ll even take out my ukulele. I’m going to volunteer more. I’m going to go to meditation events (starting with Medi Club on the 20th at MSG which will either be awesome or awful). I might go to something called Touchpoint, which my friend hosts every month and is all about sex-positive talks (and I could totally use that after the past little while). I’m trying to look up more concerts but it seems that I just missed Cage the Elephant. And Spoon, Guster, Ted Leo, and The Decemberists aren’t playing here anytime soon. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Weezer is playing at a festival in September, but festivals aren’t my thing. And Green Day just announced today that they’re playing in the Global Citizens Festival in September, too. But that’s September. That’s a whole month away.

I went to redeem my free anniversary class today at MNDFL and it was just lovely. I’m going to go to more meditation events because that’s where my heart is. Maybe I’ll eventually start teaching yoga, too.

I’m going to try to see one show per week. Or at least try. Because the past two months have been so busy that the last show I saw on THE BROADWAY was on June 1st. Which is shameful. Yes, I was away a lot and I saw three shows abroad, but come on. Who am I?!

I get to be fully myself again and I have zero persons to answer to (I wasn’t before, but there’s no one there to even comment).

Maybe I’ll make a YouTube channel? I have no idea what I’d talk about though.

I’m all about the me-time and I’m taking advantage of it. So, if I’m quiet, it’s because I’m out doing awesome shit.

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Green Day @ Barclays, 3.15.17

I’ve seen Green Day a handful of times now. I don’t know how many; I don’t keep track. But I do know that music brings people together and anytime Matt and I are brought together for Green Day, it’s a good time. I failed to secure GA tickets when the presale came out months ago and we debated what or how to get seats for the past several months. 

Well, it came down to game time this year. Or, I guess you could say, it came down to Fuck Time. We bought seats in the nose bleeds on StubHub four hours before and we thought, well, it’s Green Day and our seats for PNC in Holmdel, NJ in 2010 sucked, too, but it’ll still be awesome to be in the room. When we arrived at our seats, which were basically on the right side of the stage against the wall, Matt and his girlfriend sat down and I went to ‘use the bathroom,’ aka scope out new seat as I’ve never been one to accept the shitty seats I’ve been dealt, even if they were the ones I bought. Nobody puts baby in the nosebleeds.

I found an area, still on the second level, but lower than where we were, directly across from the stage, that was inhabited by a railing, three or four high top tables and a few folding chairs, with a few people milling about. I scoped out the area, leaning against the railing, seeing if anyone would tell me move, and after 3 minutes, I rallied to the troops to relocate. The view was much better and we were all more than happy to sit (or lean) for the duration of the concert. Photos and more thoughts after the jump. 

Against Me opened and they were great, but we didn’t really pay attention to them. The setlist was the standard setlist that they’ve been playing on this arm of the tour and it included King For a Day, which although it’s a song all of us would like them to stop playing for the rest of time, I couldn’t help but sing along. Matt and I performed as much of the American Idiot choreography as we could. Some dude rocked out during Longview and BJA asked him after, ”are you trying to take my damn job?” BJA asked after, and I’m pretty sure the fan Billie Joe pulled up onstage to sing Know Your Enemy didn’t actually know the lyrics. 

I have a newly found respect for a couple of the songs from Revolution Radio that they played, mostly Youngblood and Forever Now

Billie Joe, a master in the art of subtlety let out an exasperated, “Fuck you, Donald Trump!” at the end of Letterbomb

St. Jimmy was out of this world energized. Always a favorite of mine to see performed. 

We watched on in horror, and also laughing, at the two kids who were sitting in folding chairs covering their ears and sulking while they’re parents (probably mid-to-late 30 something’s) danced and embarrassed the hell out of them.

The GA area was outrageously small and had no energy in it whatsoever. The three of us plus another couple who were probably of a similar age had more energy than all of the kids on the ground. I’ll just say this: There were far too many seats on the floor and the first rule of Green Day is: you don’t sit at Green Day

The energy was high for the first encore which included American Idiot followed by the sensible 7-minute Jesus of Suburbia

Lastly, I’m glad they’ve gone back to ending with Good Riddance. It’s just not the same when they don’t. 

i have a thousand other thoughts but they’d make no sense and this “review” is pretty consciousness as it is. Green Day concerts, regardless of where you’re sitting, are always a good time and should always be attended when possible. They bring people together and get people off their news feeds, even if only for two-and-a-half hours. The backdrops, pyro, and lighting were fucking awesome, too. Snaps for whoever designed the tour. Last, but not least, here are a few photos:

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So much pyro onstage!

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Tiny GA section. 

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Guster is officially old enough to rent a car.

When I’d purchased my solo ticket to Guster’s annual Thanksgiving tour stop at the Beacon Theatre, I’d completely forgotten that it was their 25th anniversary until I showed up to the theatre. When I arrived and saw the displays of all their old tour tshirts, drum sticks, backstage passes, etc. It was super neat. I sat down in my seat and waited for the show to begin, after the opener, The Pisapia Love-In, who was pretty fun, but let’s be honest, we were there to see Guster. The lead singer did come back out during Guster’s set to sing a few songs with them which was fun (1st photo)I sat down just to promptly stand back up the moment they came out. Everyone in the Beacon was excited to be there and so were they. Guster has three main groups of fans: families who have been fans for forever, bros, and nerds. I had a family of four sitting in front of me and their youngest daughter slept through the entire thing. Amazing. 

Ryan announced at the beginning that they were going to play all night and play the longest concert they ever played, and we all cheered, but we knew there were rules. In the end, they ended up playing for about 2.5 hours. A generous concert, indeed! They even brought up one of their oldest fans (in the fourth photo) who has seen them hundreds of times and always makes a point to be super honest and critical about how their performance was. 

They also brought out a choir from Long Island to sing a few songs with them. “We thought it might be fun to have a choir and then my manager goes, ‘I know this choir on Long Island but their audience is mainly the 60-70 year olds,’ and I go ‘Look no further! That is exactly what we’re going for!’” But the choir added a fun element to Empire State and Jesus on the Radio

The entire setlist (here) was a good time and I had a great time rockin’ out for two and a half hours. I hope they stick together long enough to celebrate their 50th. I will definitely be there. 

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Gratitude List

I have an alert set on my phone that goes off nightly as a reminder to make a mental list of things I’m grateful for that day. Thanksgiving Day was yesterday and I’ve just gotten done eating a second plate of leftovers today. I’m grateful for that today.

I took the train out to my parent’s house yesterday for an early dinner with most of my mom’s side of the family. A cousin’s fiance commented on my plate above, “Wow, you’re going to eat all of that?!” I’m thankful to have the self control not to punch you in the face. There was lots of talk about the election. I’m thankful that it’s over. I was thankful to see my family, who I hadn’t seen since before I went to Poland. I was also thankful to have the chance to play with their 12-week-old kitten. She’s weighs a whole four pounds now. And she’s cray-cray. 

I stayed the night and left early this morning to return to my apartment for a day of relaxing with Playbill, watching Confirmation on HBO Go and another episode of The Crowns, and tonight I’m going to see Guster at the Beacon Theatre. 

There are still two days left to the holiday weekend. I hope the rest of the weekend has yoga and coffee in it. 

At the Barricade // Green Day @ Webster Hall, 10.8.16

I’d spent the last number of weeks looking for an extra ticket to see Green Day at Webster Hall. I posted on the event page, on my feed, friends feeds, etc. I was super annoying. But even as Saturday approached and no ticket was in sight, this wasn’t my first time at this rodeo and I had absolute faith that I’d get in. At 2pm on Saturday as I was laying down to take a nap, I looked st my phone to find a text from a Green Day friend asking if I still needed a ticket. After she verified that she knew the person and that she was not a scammer, I happily PayPal’ed her $100 and napped for about an hour.

I met up with a few Green Day friends at Bar None before going to meet up with my new best friend. There weren’t actual tickets, so we went in (luckily avoiding the entire square block long line to get in, thank fuck) and our names were checked off a list and our wristbands slapped on. Pictures after the jump 🙂

Webster Hall was already pretty packed so instead of trying to get closer going the way that everyone else was going (ie. the side closest to the door), we went to the opposite side and got right up against the barricade – pretty much – on the side. It was a first for me to be so close to the front, albeit the side, at a Green Day show, and at first I was like ‘where are all the people coming from that security is escorting out?’ and then I realized they were likely crowd surfers. Security sometimes pushed their way through us behind the barricade, too. Well, it was something. But we were close and got lots of love from BJA and Mike during the show, which was totally fun.

They played a 36ish song set, including some throws WAYYYYYY back that I hadn’t listened to in a LONG time. I probably appreciated hearing Nice Guys Finish Last and Minority, since I’m a huge fan of Warning. I’d never heard Nice Guys live before! I also, of course, loved hearing Bang Bang and Revolution Radio performed live.

Billie rhapsodized a lot on us all being together and to forget Facebook and the news for one night and just be present. I appreciated that. Still, there were a lot of phones up the entire time. Oh well.

American Idiot was especially timely given the state of our politics. And Jesus of Suburbia… who doesn’t love a 9-minute song cycle?

After two and a half hours of jumping, dancing, screaming, and singing we were sufficiently beat. I wasn’t deaf, which was surprising given how close I was to a few speakers.

I also picked up a completely affordable $40 shirt because no trip to see Green Day is complete without that.

I felt energized and inspired leaving the East Village but also really happy to go home and sleep. Because was I ever exhausted. But it was worth it. So, so worth it.

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Weezer @ Warsaw, 3.30.16

Two weeks ago I ventured to the border between Greenpoint and Williamsburg to a little venue called Warsaw for an intimate night with one of my favorites, Weezer. I love their music but admittedly, I don’t follow them as closely as I do Green Day and sometimes I’m not happy about that (I know, #firstworldproblems). I saw them play an epic concert with The Flaming Lips in 2011 and hadn’t had the chance to see them again since. 

Warsaw felt smaller than Irving Plaza. Ben and I stood to the side near the front the entire time. There was another fan next to us who was probably in his late 30′s and was likely in college when the Blue Album came out. He looked like he probably asked his wife to watch their first born for the night so he could relive his college memories. 

They played for an hour and a half and they played all their hits (no, really, look at this setlist). Including Beverly Hills! This was the one song they didn’t play in 2011 that I wanted to play. Weezer is a trip down memory lane through grade school and now through my 20s.

I didn’t get home until 11:30 on a “school” night, but it was worth it. 

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#throwbackthursday

I realized I had a bunch of old photo posts that I never actually posted, so they’re being turned into #throwbackthursday posts. 

This is from 2013 when Paul McCartney played a surprise mini-concert in Times Square. It was pretty awesome. Working in midtown kind of sucks, but this was one of the perks: being close to the action. 

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Laughing Into 2016

This picture is from last night. My boyfriend and I went to dinner at The Cellar for amazing mac’n’cheese and champagne before going to his best friend’s apartment for his annual New Year’s Eve party. I think in this photo I’m laughing because I just finished drinking all of the champagne (just kidding, but probably). 

There were lots of ups and downs, but it turns out that 2015 was lots of fun. I traveled to New Orleans, Chicago, as well as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. 

I dated lots of questionable guys and then went on a date with someone who wasn’t my usual type (this was a plus as my type was usually a flaky loser disguised as ‘artsy’) and he ended up being a wonderful guy and I was so, so happy to be able to ring in a new year with him last night. 

I left a job that I loved because I felt like I was stagnating and i took a job that was presented to me with a higher salary and more opportunity only to be disappointed when it didn’t work out. But shit happens.

I threw a couple of successful parties during my first year in my apartment.

I strengthened some of my friendships and ended a couple of others that no longer served me.

I read 25 books. I saw tons of theatre. I went to a bunch of stellar concerts. I kept on meditating daily and took a meditation master class. I renovated my kitchen (with lots of help from my family, of course) and afterward I cooked a ton. I also de-cluttered, which was awesome. I watched all three Star Wars and saw the new one. I watched too many TV shows on Netflix and not enough movies in theatres. 

In 2016, I’m going to concentrate on really sorting out what I want to do professionally. I excel at everything that I’m super passionate about and if I can find myself in the practically-perfect job, I’ll fly. 

Being happy is also a top priority. Fitness is next. I will keep going to the gym more mornings than not, maybe finally do a handstand on my own, and tone my arms because I hate my arms. I’m going to keep de-cluttering my apartment. I want to play more guitar and journal more. I’m going to read another 25 books. I’m going to keep making time to see my friends, including trying to see those that I don’t get to see regularly. 

2015 was great, but 2016 will be even better. Onwards/Upwards.

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Last night I went to Central Park to see a favorite band of mine play: Guster. Their last concert in January was awesome and despite the heat, I was looking for to seeing them. I hung back and enjoyed a beef brisket sandwich from Lonestar Empire while the opening act Kishi Bashi performed. He was interesting, to say the least. 

I managed to get pretty close for not trying at all. I was pleased. They played favorites like Diane, Careful, Barrel of a Gun, Do You Love Me?, and This Could All Be Yours Someday., in addition to tracks from their newest album like Long Night, Doin’ It By Myself, Kid Dreams, and Simple Machine (which is probably my favorite track off the album). 

As usual Ryan Miller went off on a million rants in between songs and made us all laugh. They had Kishi Bashi back onstage during their fake encore. As usual Ryan explained how the “B Side” of the setlist would work: “We’re going to do a couple more songs, a fake encore – so get excited – and then go offstage for about 4 minutes and then come back on to do another four songs. I always like to know what’s going on, so I think you do too!” 

By the end of the two hour set, I was sweaty, my legs were sore, my voice was a tad hoarse, and I was a bit hard of hearing.

But it was all totally worth it.