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Research: Pride & Prejudice

Sometimes, I check out a CD or a movie because someone suggests it to me. Sometimes I am interested because it is perpetually in pop culture for decades and I cannot avoid it.

In these circumstances, I am probably not eager to try it, and expect to not enjoy it. But I consider it “research”.

I was told years ago by a co-worker to listen to “Nothing’s Shocking” by Jane’s Addiction. He told me if I liked Kid Rock, I should listen to this CD because it is what came before. He was kind of weird and cool, so I got the CD. I would disagree that it really has anything to do with Kid Rock’s sound, but it was an alright CD. I considered it a failed research project though. My life wouldn’t have been missing anything had I never listened to it.

I got the books “Forever” by Judy Blume and “The Perks of Being a “Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky because everyone always talks about them being great books, especially in the Young Adult genre. I was highly dissatisfied with Perks. I think I would be better off if I had never read it. As for Forever, I think maybe Blume’s books are best enjoyed at the age for which they are written. When I was in 4th grade, Tales of a Forth Grade Nothing” was da bomb. I could never diss Mrs. Blume.

I decided I needed to either read or watch Pride and Prejudice, because everyone talks about it all the time. Actually, the last straw was when I was reading an article called “Sex, Lies, & Fifty Shades” in my Entertainment Weekly magazine. It used Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice as an example of The Prince Paradigm.

Pride and Prejudice meme

Pride and Prejudice meme

Since I generally do better with visual than I do books, especially ones filled with fancy old British talk, I chose to watch the BBC miniseries from 1995 starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I was a little concerned about a 6 hour miniseries. But it had a 5 star ranking on

How many other movies rate that high?

The costumes and all the formality of courting and dancing, etc. back then would have driven me nuts. Once I sort of associated it with when I watch “Anne of Green Gables” (PBS, starring Megan Follows), as being of a time whose customs I know not, it was easier to watch. Just like Anne, Pride featured beautiful shots of the countryside–England, rather than Canada, of course.

The first hour I spent just trying to remember everyone’s name and what they did. But, as I reached the end of episode 5 and found it was now 2:15AM, I realized I had been drawn into the story. I actually cared about Lizzy and Mr. Darcy and if they were ever going to get together.

I actually feel really cheated that I didn’t watch Pride and Prejudice sooner. So many other movies I watch are based off of this story that came first. I recently watched the movie “Austinland” which, while a great movie, no doubt would have made more sense had I watched P & P first. And I have watched “Bridget Jones Diary” in the past. Wait, why does Colin Firth keep playing characters named Mr. Darcy? Is that a really common name in England?

Anyway, Pride and Prejudice was definitely worth my time checking out. I enjoy writing bantering dialogue between my leads and feel like I was “schooled” by the movie. I might benefit from reading the original book. I did find a free eBook version, although I enjoy reading physical books more.

I must admit, I may be a little obsessed now. And that really should have happened years ago. Maybe I wasn’t mature enough yet in 1995 to see past the dresses that look like nightgowns and the lack of kissing.

BTW, I am sooo glad that Lizzie and Mr. Darcy get to kiss at the end.

Next up on my research list? Flowers in the Attic.

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on TODAY.

365 Days

When I was a tiny child, a year was a very Very VERY VERY long time. In January, it would seem like Christmas would never come around again. Same with Halloween.  A year was just an infathomable amount of time for my immature brain. I knew that each day passed, and month by month, eventually we would get there. I knew this to be true. But it was just an eternity. I can’t even describe it. While so many other memories have faded, that one is still relatively clear in my memory.  The endlessness of time stretching out before me.

And from things my son says, I believe this is how he experiences time as well.

Here is an ugly picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Here is an ugly picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Maybe time moved so slow for me because as a child I spent a lot of time being bored. “I’m bored” came out of my mouth probably every hour of the day. I was bored in school. I was bored at home. I was bored in the car. I was bored at the grocery store. I was bored visiting my Gramma.

I look back now, and all that “bored” time just seems like such a waste. I could have been writing the books then that I don’t have time to write now. I could have hugged my Gramma a few more times while she was still here.

When I was in middle school and high school, time went faster than as a child, but was still very slow. And while the three months of summer vacation always ended way too soon, each individual day was slow and boring and painful to sit through. Sixteen hours of television a day helped a little. But even the Brady Bunch and The Dukes of Hazard can get boring after a while. Just like this post…

Here is a beautiful picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Here is a beautiful picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Now…Well, MY GOD.

I had my son yesterday. I went to sleep, and he is approaching his fourth birthday. Some of that is because my husband and I mentally block out a lot of the anxiety we had around his medical issues and surgeries. But even when I think about my previous employer, I CANNOT BELIEVE that I was there for over 12 years. (Especially because I didn’t really enjoy it, always wanted to do something more creative, and told myself if I was still there after 5 years, someone should shoot me. And now history repeats itself. I am always trying to do the responsible thing. I never learn. Enough of my whining…) I can’t even fathom how many books I added into their computer system. One that has now been powered down for good. I once calculated that in the year 2007, I allocated 15 million units of calendars as part of a three person team. (Yes, that is straight off my resume.)

I get up now, I rush through my day, doing everything as quickly as I can, sometimes accurately and efficiently, usually not. At the end of the day, I realize that it is actually Friday. I lost the whole week. I am so tired that I go to sleep. I get up, eat breakfast, and somehow it is Sunday night already. I have to turn around and do it all again. My life is racing by me. I don’t have one second to sit down and appreciate anything.

I am afraid tomorrow that I might wake up dead. I am not kidding. People in my family do not have a very good shelf life. Sure, my mom survived terminal cancer, but she has the longevity of the Eatons making up half her genes. They only make up a quarter of mine.

I just need to hurry, to finish as much as I can before I expire like a bottle of Diet Rite at a gas station.* But, the more that I hurry, the more behind I get, the faster time flies. I just wish a had a stop watch, so that I could pause everything so that I could enjoy what I have while I have it. And I need to book that trip to Las Vegas, and Hawaii.  Because someday, I will not be here to do it.

* No one buys Diet Rite, and all diet pop has a shorter shelf life to begin with because of the artificial sweeteners.

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:

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.

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