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Casey Kasem (1932-2014)

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CASEY KASEM-shaggy meme

Foto Phriday: Concert Ready

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When I was in my 20’s, and first had my own job and my own apartment, often I would go out to rock concerts with my friends. I went from going to no concerts ever, to going to probably about one a month for a few years.

These pictures were taken when my green-haired friend and I went to see Good Charlotte in Toledo, Ohio on Halloween 2002. Within a year, we would actually get to MEET them, coincidentally, also in Toledo.

This is one of my favorite pictures of myself. It was taken in my cute little one bedroom apartment I used to have.

Are you convinced I am a bad-ass yet?

Me, all ready for action!

Me, all ready for action!

Ya, me neither.

Here is a picture of my green-haired friend, although in this pic I can’t really tell what color her hair is. But knowing her, and that we were headed to a concert of one of our favorite bands, it was probably freshly dyed. She has a “roar” face because she is wearing kitty ears on her head;)

My green-haired friend

My green-haired friend

In this picture, I was first struck by how beautiful my green-haired friend looks.

Then I realized her necklace looks like a candy necklace (which she sometimes wore), but it is not.

Then I realized I look like Miley Cyrus. But, you know, a good decade before her. Can I get some kind of kick-back for that?

I look drunk.  I assure you that I had not had anything but Coca-Cola.

I look drunk. I assure you that I had not had anything but Coca-Cola.

CONCERT READY-GC sign

Miracles & Tragedies

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I had a guy come to my desk at work the other day. He was inquiring about some sunglasses that he had lost months ago. He wanted to know if we still had them.

He kept telling me that these were no ordinary sunglasses. They were $400 RayBan sunglasses. I remembered him. This was not the first time he had checked to see if someone had turned them in.  He said he was checking again because “miracles happen”.

Unfortunately, we did not have them. He mused about how life is filled with miracles and tragedies. This made me wonder if he considered losing his expensive sunglasses as a tragedy. That turned me off a bit, as there are people with much worse things happening in their lives.

Then, he asked me, if I had had miracles and tragedies in my life. I couldn’t think of any in my own life off the top of my head. And maybe because of my previous thought about his sunglasses, I did share that my mom’s life was filled with both.

MIRACLES-miracle

“What is one miracle that she had?” he asked me.

This was getting personal now, but I couldn’t resist. So I explained how in 2006 the doctors told her that she had kidney cancer that had metathesized into her lungs. The doctor gave her 2 months to live. She had her left kidney removed, although the surgeon implied she was setting herself up for a long recovery for no reason. Then her cancer completely disappeared. She is still here today, 8 years later.

MIRACLES-mom and dad

“Wow! So what was a tragedy?” he replied.

I totally had him hooked now. It was time to pull out my favorite shocking family revelation. I can’t change it, so might as well enjoy it, right?

I told him that would probably be when she was pregnant with me and my dad dropped over from a heart attack before I was born.

Ya, the customer was pretty impressed with those. He probably still didn’t forget about his sunglasses, but I had unloaded a lot on him to think about. If he was better looking and I was single, this could be the beginning of a romantic Hollywood movie.

I still can’t really say what the miracles and tragedies of my life will be yet.

My son having successful surgery to fix his UPJ obstruction I would consider a miracle. But that is his, and not mine.

What are the miracles and tragedies in your life?

What I Learned This Week – 6/8/14

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This week I learned that I wouldn’t do my life differently.

Look at this baby.

Baby pic of A.L.D.

Baby pic of A.L.D.

I remember when this baby was born.

Last weekend, she graduated from high school.

This is the daughter of one of my close friends growing up. She had her when she was just 2 years out of high school herself. Two more children soon followed.

The last time I saw my friend and her husband at the grocery store, they actually looked at my son and laughed. They laughed because they are almost done raising their children, and I am just starting.

But you know what? I wouldn’t trade with them for anything.

I went and visited them shortly after their daughter was born. I was just a kid in college. I had never had a real job. I didn’t have my own car. I didn’t have any bills. I didn’t live on my own, and wouldn’t be ready to for another three years.

Their little bundle of joy scared the shit out of me!

In the years they were raising kids, I was going to concerts and spending money on CDs and hoodies, not on diapers and backpacks. I only had to be responsible for myself and a hamster.

You know the good thing about a hamster? If you decide to crash at your green-haired friend’s house for the night, YOU CAN! The hamster has enough food and water for 24 hours. It is a rodent, for God sake. They not only survived the plague, they spread it to everyone else.

My husband and I spent many Sunday nights going out to Walmart too late and spending money we couldn’t spare on DVDs and toys. And I wouldn’t trade those lazy nights for anything.

The way I see it, we got to enjoy our youth when we were young. My friends are looking forward to having all their kids out of their house soon. But they will still be in their 40’s by then. And as I approach that milestone myself, I am sure I won’t have as much energy then as I did in my 20s. I used to live my whole life on 6 hours of sleep per night up until I had my son. I used to go out to concerts surrounded by kids 10 years younger than me and jump up and down with them at a Good Charlotte concert. I used to be squeezed in a mosh pit. I stood up for 5 hours in the summer sun with no food or water in 2008 to listen to future President of the United States Barack Obama speak.

I was strong! I was hardy!

I can still do a concert better than many people my own age. But not with the enthusiasm and longevity and fearlessness I once had.

I waited until I was 34 to have my son. And even then, I could barely figure out when to give him formula and when to change a diaper. (I wasted lot of diapers and formula this way.) Now, at my increased age, I barely have enough patience for him some days. I can’t imagine if I had been younger and felt like he was making me miss out on stuff.

So as far as having a child, I definitely do not regret having mine later.

I am tempted to say that I do regret not working on getting a novel published sooner. But, well, I guess I had to wait for the right idea to come along and kick me in the ass.

Have We Forgotten Our Dead?

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My mom, my son M, and I visited three cemeteries the Monday prior to Memorial Day, to decorate family members graves with flowers.  Two of the three cemeteries was very unsatisfactory.

The first one, St. Joseph’s Catholic cemetery in Adrian, Michigan, had their drive blocked with orange construction cones.  It seemed they had decided that a week before Memorial Day was the optimal time to put fresh tar in the cracks of the paved drive.

Really?  How does that make sense?  To block people out of the cemetery at the one time of year when they are guaranteed to want to visit?!

As I didn’t want to get fresh tar on my car (the hail damage is enough to give it character), my mom and I made alternate arrangements to come back on Wednesday.  Surely it would be open again by then, right?

Next we visited Pleasant View cemetery in Blissfield, Michigan, where my dad is buried.  There was no sign of the flags that they always put on the graves of veterans.  The place had not even been mowed.  There were branches and stray bits of liter everywhere.

My mom is very particular about millions of things in this world.  Most of which I DO NOT and WILL NOT ever understand.  But on one thing I do agree with her, and that is that you should place your flowers at the cemetery after they have mowed.  Otherwise, your artificial flowers get dirt and grass thrown all up in them and look terrible.  But, having no other options, we placed our flowers at that time.  Next to my dad’s tombstone is a concrete marker in the shape of a lamb for his sister, who was born and died before he was ever born.  It probably isn’t made out of very quality materials to begin with, and it has been there approaching 100 years.  But we could plainly see where the riding lawn mower clips it when it goes between the stones.

You can see where I pushed away the dirt with my foot to expose the original resting position of the lamb.

You can see where I pushed away the dirt with my foot to expose the original resting position of the lamb.

Really?

These stones are the only thing left to mark these people’s lives (in this instance, of a deceased baby who never even got to live her life), and you have to carelessly push them over on their foundations?

When my mom and I returned to the St. Joseph’s Catholic cemetery on Wednesday, we witnessed the same thing.  The place had not yet been mowed.  The tombstones on the ends had been moved on their foundations, from previous passes with the mower.  I tried to push one back into position, unsuccessfully, and almost gave myself a hernia.

Oh, and FYI, there were STILL cones blocking the entrance to St. Joseph’s.  It appeared as if they had seal-coated the drive as well.  I drove around the cones.  (It had already rained the night before.  Any of the coating that was going to come off would have already been washed off.)

Aside from the shotty groundskeeping, I also noticed that WE, as surviving family members as a whole, are not decorating.  The entire section my dad is located in was almost devoid of flowers.  Everyone in his section generally died in 1980 or before.

Now, looking across the cemetery to the newer section, it did appear to be very decorated.  I guess all the people in the ground in the new section are the ones who used to decorate the tombstones in the old section.

How sad is that?

Even sadder is that they never told their children that someone had to keep decorating the grandmas’ and grandpas’ when they themselves had moved on.

Decorating gravestones is very similar to how I feel about sending greeting cards.  I know that it is an extra expense, but we lose a little of our humanity when we decide it is not worth our time and bother anymore.  A website exists called Find-A-Grave.  It is a great resource for genealogists.  But, you can also leave “virutal flowers” for people.  I have an issue with the “social media-ization” of the dead.

Oy.

What I Learned This Week – 5/25/14

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This week I learned what it was like to lose a family member on the Titanic.

Not really. But a good attempt at a simulation.

Titanic 2nd class soup bowl

Titanic 2nd class souvenir soup bowl

See, my family and I headed down to the Imagination Station in Toledo, Ohio, to check out their Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. The Imagination Station is a hands-on science museum. We had never been before.

I am not a huge fan of all things Titanic, but I am as interested in one of the most famous shipwrecks in history as the next person. Although, I do own a book about the crash of the famous Great Lakes shipwreck, the Edmund Fitzgerald. But do not get me started on that horrible movie with Leonardo DiCraprio.

If you have a toddler, I recommend going straight into the Titanic Exhibit first, before they can see all the other colorful objects in the rest of the building that they can touch. I attempted this with my son. I was unsuccessful. M didn’t enjoy the exhibit as much as my husband and I did. Although he was quite fond of the gift shop at the end.

When we entered the exhibit, each one of us was given a card with the name and info of a passenger who traveled on the Titanic. At the end, we would get to see if we lived or died.

I got Mrs. Dickinson H. Bishop (Helen Walton) from Michigan. (Which is cool, because I live in Michigan.) I was 19, in 1st class, and returning from my extended honeymoon in Egypt, Italy, Spain, and France. I was also pregnant. I liked my chances of survival.

M was Mr. Charles Duane Williams, 51, a father traveling in 1st class with his tennis star son, who was Harvard-bound. His fate seemed less certain.

My poor husband got Mr. Frederick Joseph Goodwin, traveling 3rd class with his wife and six children. I didn’t really want to know how his voyage would end.

The exhibit started by showing you the accommodations 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class passengers would have enjoyed on the voyage. Some of it was quite opulent. Even while I was trying to convince my son how cool it was to look at objects that had been laying in the bottom of the ocean for 80 years (he remained unconvinced), they lulled you into how nice the trip “could” have been.

Then you rounded a corner in the exhibit, and the lighting changed. It was darker. Signs started to appear. They were the first messages received about icebergs ahead. In this day of prolific texting, seeing the warnings posted in black and white was haunting. Other signs told of how despite receiving these warnings, the Titanic continued ahead at almost full speed. The wreckage of the boat indicated that while they turned the boat, they never did decrease their speed. It made me cringe.

At this point, the museum had an iceberg you could touch, which was nice for my son, since the rest of the exhibit contained alarmed glass cases. That interested my son for a while. Then we came to the board that listed all the survivors and those who perished.

As I suspected, both Mr. and Mrs. Bishop survived. Makes me wonder if she continued to have a successful pregnancy. That would have been a REALLY young Titanic survivor.  It made me wonder so much that I Googled her. You can find out the answer here:  http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/helen-bishop.html

Mr. Charles Williams did not make it through, but his son did. At least the blood line and the family history could be carried on.  More details on how Charles died: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/charles-duane-williams.html

The Goodwin family perished. Every last one of them. The children ranged in age from 16 to 2 years of age. To drive the point home, there was even a picture of the family in the exhibit. They could afford to travel in 2nd class, but had traveled 3rd in order to have more money for their new life in America. To make matters worse, they had only been transferred to the Titanic because of a coal strike. Many other passengers found themselves aboard the Titanic for the same reason.  Interesting facts about the youngest Goodwin: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/sidney-leslie-goodwin.html

Man, The Universe REALLY wanted the Goodwin family gone. Their number was up. When it is your time, you can’t escape death.

The Goodwin family.  All perished on the Titanic. Photo: The Daily Mirror

The Goodwin family. All perished on the Titanic.
Photo: The Daily Mirror

I probably would have been more moved if my son hadn’t been throwing a mega-fit by then.

He was happy to look at the stuffed bears in the gift shop. I would have been a sucker and bought him one, as I can “bearly” resist plush myself, but my husband vetoed it. Second class soup bowls were on sale for just $5, so I had to get one. It is marked an “authentic replica” (Is that what they call an oxy-moron?) of the dishes used on the Titanic. It is quickly becoming my favorite dish. It is very versatile.

My husband on the high-wire bike at Imagination Station.  Yes, he is crazy.

My husband on the high-wire bike at Imagination Station. Yes, he is crazy.

My husband enjoyed the Imagination Station very much. I am easily frustrated by all things science. My son was frustrated by all the other kids cutting in front of him. M did better in the kid zone for toddlers. That said, if you ONLY have a toddler, as we do, it probably would not be worth the price of admission to visit. At least not until they were older.

M in the Kidz Zone

M in the Kidz Zone

I was happy to make it home, be off my feet, and use my new bowl;)

Happy Memorial Day!

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MEMORIAL DAY 2014-flag

My favorite holiday.  Thank you from the bottom to the top of my heart for all those who serve our country, past, present, and future.  You protect our freedoms we enjoy daily.  You are my heroes.

My Dad, World War II veteran

My Dad, World War II veteran

This is my dad, Loren. He was in the Army medical corps in Germany in WWII and drove an ambulance. He was there when they liberated a concentration camp.  I never got to meet him, but I am still awfully proud.  My mom always says it was the biggest thing in his life.  He traveled halfway around the world.  And it doesn’t get more momentous than serving during a war.

Yes, Kid Rock, I Have Stalked You, Part 2

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This is part two of a long post.  For part one, please visit: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/05/20/yes-kid-rock-i-have-stalked-you-part-1/

So, that video shoot my friend told me about? Turned out, the video shoot for “Forever” was going to be held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds (now extinct) the NEXT weekend, and it would be widely announced by the local media. It was also being filmed by MTV’s Making the Video show. I was so psyched!

My friend and I went to Meijer late the night before so that I could buy one of those red markers to draw on your car windows with. I also bought stuff to make sandwiches for lunch for all of us the next day. Then I drove all the way home. By then it was the middle of the freakin’ night, and I had to turn around and get up early and pick up my friends and drive to the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

While it would be 30 degrees warmer in 4 days, it was only around a high of maybe 40 degrees that day at the wide open fairgrounds.  The wind whipped through. The thrill of being at an actual music video kept us going for a while. First thing to be filmed was some monster trucks. Then we finally got to see Kid Rock, as he rode out on his own Monster Truck. My husband ran up with the rest of the crowd and took a picture.

Kid Rock on a monster truck

Kid Rock on a monster truck

Then there was more time waiting while they set up the stage for the performance scenes. I think we snuck off to our car to try and find some respite from the terrible windchill. We ate our sandwiches. We never really warmed up. We returned to the set.

The band finally came out and started getting set up. Uncle Kracker came out at the far end of the stage from us. By this time, he had already released his own album, toured, and had a few hits (depending on how you define a “hit”). And yet, no one was saying anything! So, my green-haired friend and I started chanting “Kracker! Kracker! Kracker!” The crowd picked it up. Then Kracker looked up at the crowd and smiled a big, goofy grin. We all cheered. That is my most favorite memory from that day. Uncle Kracker doesn’t know it, but that smile was for us, because we started the chant.

This is where we started.  Trust me, we got closer.

This is where we started. Trust me, we got closer.

Then Kid Rock came out, explaining that they have to do several takes while lip-syncing to the original track. If I stood on my toes, I could see Pamela Anderson at the side of the stage. After that, he performed some of his hits for us. There was this group of young kids in front of us, 17 years old maybe? The one girl in their group had obviously never been in a pit before and just complained about EVERYTHING!  “Oh my God, stop pushing!” I was a concert veteran by now. I knew by now, you had to accept the pushing and shoving or get the f*ck out. Eventually, that party left, helping us to move closer to the stage. I may have pushed her a few times, on purpose, to speed that along ;) Yup, Kid Rock had helped me find my inner American Bad Ass.

Kenny Olsen and Jason Krause of TBT, center

Kenny Olson and Jason Krause of TBT, center

After that, they shot a scene where a girl in a bikini was supposed to be thrown in the air off of an American flag. My husband was holding onto the edge, but somehow he did not end up still holding on to it when the cameras started rolling.

By the time that scene was over, it was dark. I was so cold and starving, that Kid Rock himself probably would have had to come out and convince me to stay. We got in the car and left. By that time, there were very few people still there.

When we watched the finished music video later, we would see that we probably missed our best chance at meeting Kid Rock. The final scenes shot were those of him actually walking through the crowd. And I can tell you, the people you see in the scene are the ONLY ONES still there. Everyone else had left due to the cold.

Here is the “Forever” music video. Try to find me in it. I still do…

I can’t believe that none of the four of us ended up in the finished video OR the MTV Making The Video. And my green-haired friend’s brother is like 7 feet tall (not quite). How does that not show up in every shot?

I saw Kid Rock on the Cocky tour three times in 2002. I stood in line to buy tickets when they went on sale to see him at the Palace of Auburn Hills. By then, there were so many people in line, Ticketmaster was doing a stupid random number draw to decide where people fell in line. I ended up purchasing my tickets about ten minutes after they went on sale. The seats I ended up with were clear up by the ceiling. It was RIDICULOUS! That would have been a miserable show, except for there were two college guys in the row in front of me who were dancing and singing along with every word, just as I was. That made the bad seats a little easier to take.

That same week, I bought tickets for Kid Rock at the Toledo Sports Arena (a MUCH smaller venue) four days after they went on sale. I was still able to get General Admission tickets. By the end of that concert, I had pushed my way up to second row from the stage. When Kid Rock came out with a shot gun to shoot out the lights, I was just a little scared! It was impressive. I was so close to my obsession, but there was no way to get closer.

In September, I saw him at DTE Energy Theatre. We only had lawn tickets. I had come to the conclusion that there was no way to get close tickets for Kid Rock in his “hometown” of Detroit. My green-haired friend and I had been to that venue many times by now. I knew the back way into the place that usually resulted in quick parking. But this show had a problem. People were coming and tailgating in the parking lot–PEOPLE WITHOUT TICKETS TO THE SHOW!!!! It caused a horrible traffic jam. It was then that I decided never to buy tickets for a Kid Rock show in Detroit again.  It was throwing your money away.  There was just no way to get close to him.

We were late. We ran as fast as we could from the gates to the stage. We could hear Kid Rock and Run-D.M.C. performing together. They left the stage just as we rounded the corner in view of the stage.  We never saw them.

Jam Master Jay would be shot and murdered a month later. We had missed one of the final performances of RUN-D.M.C. by 60 seconds. It haunts me still.

Somehow by the end of that concert, my friend and I made it into the top of the pavilion seats. Which was awesome, because during his performance of “Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp”, when Kid Rock wears his long fur coat and pimp hat with the feather in it, metallic confetti was dropped from the ceiling. It may have even been one of his encores. It was just such an awesome and moving experience. Part of that could have also been that the people in front of us were smoking pot.

The following is a journal entry about the show.  Remember, I had already disclosed that I was obsessed…

Kid Rock @ DTE 9/13/02

I have been to church*
It has been such a long time.
Look at my fellow followers.
The congregation. Up at the sky.
We love our god. He gives us power, energy, life.
He is so trashy/rude-but at the same time points out things in our society that we take too seriously. He reminds us life can be fun, in addition to the misery. He melodically puts us on a higher level.

Look at the clouds. Look at the sky. Look at the congregation grooving en mass. Feel the worn but wonderful as it courses through our bodies. This may be my last chance for awhile to chant in unison with my god. I am at church.

*I think “church about every Kid Rock show I go to.

It was such a great show. On the way out, I found a Kid Rock wife beater laying in the parking lot, fresh from the souvenir stand. That was probably a $30 value right there. I would wear it to many future concerts.

In November 27, 2003, we went to see Uncle Kracker perform at the Emerald Theatre. And yes, I was hoping Kid Rock would make an appearance. It was a great show at a great theater, but no Kid Rock.

At some point in all this, my crazy friend’s best friend did the hair of someone who knew what road Kid Rock lived on in Ortonville. (It was pretty common knowledge that he lived in Ortonville, Michigan at that time.) So, we all planned a weekend field trip to try to find his house. Except, well, the best friend couldn’t remember for sure what road the customer had said. We saw lots of scenic Ortonville. We took pictures of the different roads and houses we found, in case they were it. We unknowingly drove past a bar he regularly visited like six times and never stopped.

My crazy friend had access to online real estate records at the time. When she got home, she did a property search. She emailed me both the parcel info, and an aerial picture of the house. I won’t include those here. I also won’t tell you the address, but the road rhymes with my maiden name. Here is the picture I took of Kid Rock’s front gate:

Kid Rock's front gate

Kid Rock’s front gate

It is my pride and joy. I used to display it proudly in my cubicle at my old office job. We didn’t try to go past the gate because we did not want Kid Rock to shoot us.

Although, that would have been a GREAT story!

I have no idea if he still lives there or not. That was over ten years ago.

Sadly, I have not seen Kid Rock since 2002. I saw him a total of six times.  I loved the rap rock thing, but I always liked the rare song on a CD where he sang, especially a dark version I have of the Hank Williams Jr. song “A Country Boy Can Survive”. I always wanted him to sing more. On his newer albums, he did just that. But, then, I wished that he would rap more.

I still love his old stuff, but my obsession has faded. I don’t follow his new stuff. I had to get rid of my cardboard standee. It took up too much room in my one bedroom apartment. All my concert T-shirts got worn out. My husband and I moved into our house, and my CD collection got stashed in a chest that gets cluttered on top, making it hard to access my CDs.

I have met a lot of celebrities. Probably more than my fair share. Check out my “When Stars Align” page if you don’t believe me. I wish I had met Kid Rock before he was famous. I am sure he was playing little dive bars in Detroit. It was possible. I just didn’t know that he existed. That is the dream, I guess. To meet a famous person before the fame sets in and they become unreachable.

I did actually get to meet the band Good Charlotte at the height of their fame. But, well, that is a story for another day.

At this point, I am waiting for Kid Rock to lose popularity. Maybe someday he will come to the county fair and I will be able to meet him when no one else wants to.

Yes, Kid Rock, I Have Stalked You, Part 1

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I have previously written posts about both Macklemore and Vanilla Ice.

Macklemore, Ricky Nix. Kid Rock. Vanilla Ice.

What do all these guys have in common? They are all white rappers.

And I love them all. And no, Eminem is NOT included on my list. He only has ever recorded two singles that didn’t sound like the beat was from a Casio keyboard and he was trying to do a cartoon voice. Those two decent song are “Lose Yourself” and “Stan”.

It was 1999.

I had my first “real” job post-college in an office, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day doing monotonous work.

I was miserable.

Luckily, they let me listen to music while I did my boring data entry work.

At this same time, there was a song on the radio that I really liked. I didn’t know the name of it or who sang it, but I was pretty sure it went as follows:

Break it up let’s tie one on
I gotta get set to go and cut the lawn
So I grab my Walkman but before I cut
I go behind the garage and fire it up
Cause I’m the pool guy
You understand

I thought they were weird lyrics, but I definitely liked the Rap Rock mix. At a chance encounter hanging out at a bonfire, I got to hear more of the album. I liked it a lot. I found out the song above is actually called “Bullgod”, and I had misheard the lyrics.

I went out and purchased the CD (Yes, people did that back then): Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”

I listened to it every day for the next year. While I was a good little obedient worker typing away, I was listening to wonderful lyrics about drugs and violence and sex set to a pounding beat on my headphones.

My Kid Rock standee, with Hogwart the hedgehog

My Kid Rock standee, with Hogwart the hedgehog

I fell in love with Kid Rock’s music. I bought all his previous CDs that I could get from online auctions. I never managed to get Fire It up, an EP that was released in 1993. I liked listening to his early stuff to hear how he evolved, but I still loved Devil Without A Cause the best.

Kid Rock has a great saying that perfectly describes how his music affected me:

If it looks good, you’ll see it;
If it sounds good, you’ll hear it,
if it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it;
But…if it’s real, you’ll feel it.

At this same time, I started attending rock concerts regularly, which I had never really done before. But I suddenly had opportunities (on rare occasions, we got free tickets at work) and people to attend with me. I learned that some people require alcohol to have a good time on a night out, and some do not. I mostly went to concerts with my green-haired friend, her brother, and my crazy friend. They did not required alcohol to have a good time. We could end up laughing until we couldn’t breath with no help from outside substances whatsoever.

The first time I saw Kid Rock in person was at a Top Dog showcase at the State Theatre (Now known as the Fillmore Detroit) in Detroit, Michigan on July 27, 2000. Top Dog is Kid Rock’s own record label. Kid Rock wasn’t scheduled to perform, but I hoped that he would. I also hoped that he would be there, and maybe there would be a chance to meet him. My green-haired friend, her brother, and I stood in a line that ran down the side of the building, waiting for them to open the doors. We were apparently standing right near a stage door, because guys kept going in and out with guitars and speakers and stuff. I told my friends that I thought the guy with the bright orange dyed hair was in Kid Rock’s band, Twisted Brown Trucker. They did not believe me. Until later, when he was on stage with Uncle Kracker. The orange haired guy was Jason Krause. Although we didn’t get an autograph that day, we would ten months later.

Kid Rock didn’t perform at that show, but he did emcee, announcing the three acts before each one performed. Paradigm, Howling Diablos, and Uncle Kracker performed. I believe Joe C. was there too. We would all go on to become big Uncle Kracker fans, and attend many of his concerts.

The first time I actually saw Kid Rock perform was at Pine Knob (Now known as the DTE Energy Music Theater) in Clarkston, Michigan on August 25, 2000. My green-haired friend and I had stood in line when tickets went on sale early one Saturday morning. It was an outdoor venue, and we had been lucky enough to get pavilion seats, although they were 48 rows back from the stage. The local radio station was having a contest to win tickets. I thought they might have closer seats, so I called and won. Alas, what I won were lawn tickets. So, I invited my boyfriend (now husband) and his best friend along with us.

To my delight, and many other young people’s confusion, David Allan Coe was the opening act. I grew up on 70’s and 80’s country. “You Never Even Call Me By Name” is one of his biggest hits, and one of my favorite country songs. Sadly, that is about all I remember from that concert.

It would be the last time we would see Joe C. in person alive, as he died on November 16, 2000. Eerily enough, my husband and I were driving through Taylor that very evening, coming home from another show. Because I worked with people who worked with record company people, I actually knew the time and location of Joe C.’s funeral, but I didn’t go. I do have SOME stalker morals.

I started to watch Kid Rock on every TV show that he performed on. I started a scrapbook of magazine articles about him. I dressed as Kid Rock for Halloween, and wore it to work. I made a collage on my bedroom door. I hung up posters of him in my cubicle at work. One of my co-workers started to call me Kid Jen. I had a giant cardboard standee of him in my living room. I was obsessed. Which is unfortunate, because there was a lull in Kid Rock activity in the time until his Cocky album was came out in late 2001.

Me, Halloween 2000, as Kid Rock

Me, Halloween 2000, as Kid Rock

On May 27, 2001, my green-haired friend, her brother, my now-husband, and I went to the 89X 10th Birthday Bash at a venue called Phoenix Plaza. I always get lost in Pontiac. And Phoenix Plaza is a big park on top of a parking garage. All sorts of bands that really have no relation to this story were performing that day. Sum 41 (who we MISSED!), Rehab (who got booed), Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Cold, Staind, Puddle of Mudd, and Dope. Right when we got there, two members of Treble Charger (who we had seen in concert a few weeks prior, also the concert where I obtained most of my current hearing damage) walked right by us. By the time I convinced my green-haired friend that that is who the guys indeed were, they got on an elevator and left. With later Internet research, we found out one of those guys from Treble Charger sometimes produces Sum 41 albums.

Jason Krause's Autograph

Jason Krause’s Autograph

But that would not be the first of our celebrity encounters that day. There was a whole area where the bands would come and sign stuff. Jason Krause, orange-haired guitar player from Twisted Brown Trucker, and Stefanie Eulinberg, Kid Rock’s drummer, were also there. They weren’t performing, just watching the bands. Jason happily signed an autograph for us. We ran into Stephanie in the crowd. She was super nice, then proceeded to work her way forward toward the stage. She was shorter than me, and having trouble seeing the performances.

Stefanie Eulinberg Autograph

Stefanie Eulinberg Autograph

According to my ticket stubs, next we went to see Uncle Kracker at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on August 24, 2001. It was a beautiful outdoor venue, but VERY far away from my house. Uncle Kracker’s debut CD contained a song with Kid Rock on it. I hoped Kid Rock would appear to perform it with him. He did not. Although, Ron Jeremy introduced Uncle Kracker that day. How many people can say they have seen Ron Jeremy in person?

The concert had an official After Party at the Emerald Ballroom in Mount Clemens. I fell in love with the Emerald Theatre (Now called the Macomb Music Theatre) and its cozy leather chairs. But alas, it was even FURTHER away from my house, and not optimal to frequent for concerts.

Yes, we went to the afterparty, hoping to see Kid Rock. We did not. We did get to see Uncle Kracker’s very attractive guitar player from just a few feet away though. The ride back to Belleville was very, very long. Everyone fell asleep except, luckily, the driver.

Someone at work informed me that Kid Rock was doing a video shoot at the Palace of Auburn Hills. We tried to stalk it.

Come back on Thursday for Part 2 to find out if we ever did find the music video shoot, and if I ever got to meet Kid Rock…

Part 2 can be found here:  http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/05/22/yes-kid-rock-i-have-stalked-you-part-2

What I Learned This Week – 5/18/14

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This week I learned that I am pretty desperate to get my son potty-trained.

I knew it would be a difficult process. It is a big part of why I didn’t want to have any kids. My mother is still shaming me to this day that it took me so long to be trained. (I think that should be on her, not me. But I digress…)

About 2 years ago, we bought my son a potty. We have casually tried to train him on and off since then. I will admit it. We are the reason he isn’t trained yet.

Here was the little potty when it was new.  I have no idea what ever happened to that blue lid.

Here was the little potty when it was new. I have no idea what ever happened to that blue lid.

In the last two weeks, we bared down, and have seen some success.

Then, well, we left for a few hours on Saturday morning. When we came back, a dog (Dave? Parker? Who knows.) had eaten the foam seat and the decorative vinyl that covers it off of the potty seat. The splash guard was also badly chewed. My husband instantly deemed the potty no longer usable. I wasn’t even sure that all the pieces we needed where still there. But upon closer inspection, they were.

The little potty after the dog(s) got ahold of it.

The little potty after the dog(s) got ahold of it.

[I think it must have been Parker who chewed up the potty. Dave might chew it up, but only Parker would eat the pieces. He has some unhappy poopy-time ahead.]

I cleaned it up and reassembled it. But by this time, my son was also convinced it was unusable. I admit, it was scary looking right after the dogs were finished with it. But I fixed it! Just use it, kid!

So, last night after my son went to bed, I decided to turn it into a Thomas & Friends potty. My kid is crazy-nuts for Thomas and all things train. Let’s hope this gets us on the right “track” again with potty-training. Lol.

The new & improved "Thomas" potty!

The new & improved “Thomas” potty!

James graphic

James graphic

Percy graphic

Percy graphic

I used acrylic craft paint, if anyone is interested. I hope that it will withstand gentle sponge cleaning. I was originally going to paint the seat, but decided that would receive too much wear. I think it came out pretty good, since I free-handed it with no plan. And the #1 stands for Thomas, and a reminder of what goes in the potty!

I also learned that I need a yellow paint pen, and a working red paint pen. That is why my detail colors do not match up exactly to for the Thomas characters. My son will notice, but hopefully he will still use the potty anyway!

My son said: Mommy! There are trains on my potty!
Me: That is so cool. Do you think you will use it today?
My son: Ummmmmmm….maybe a bit.
Me: A bit later?
My son: Ya…

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