Friday, July 29, 2011

My Summer of Music

Trying to get back on track with my blogging, both here and at the PMDD site, where I haven't posted in over two months. As my last post says, I'm taking time out to pursue more research on the subject. And I am. I've enlisted the help of a friend from my Qigong class, and, I hope to have more good information to share over there in the fall.

As for what's going on here, I'm still as busy as ever, now getting ready for out of town family to visit. Until then, I will be cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and that includes clearing my desk of anything that doesn't need to be there, because when they come, I will take the entire week off from the computer. Tonight another friend and I will be shampooing the carpet, so after I finish this post, it's off to move furniture in preparation for that.

Earlier this week, I attended the U2 concert in Pittsburgh with my son and friends. The U2 360 tour was the largest, and largest grossing rock concert tour ever, with a road crew of around 400 and a stage that takes 120 eighteen wheeler trucks to transport. (From a lookout point on one of the stadium ramps, I counted 30 of them lined up in rows of two, big, bright, shiny, new-looking tractor-trailers, just waiting to be loaded up again.)

The stage took four days to set up (in the broiling heat) at Heinz Field, and 60,000 people were expected to attend. The show we went saw was the last American tour date of the tour, which started in 2009. Only one more concert after ours, and the tour is over. I bet that road crew is happy. One of the statistics posted on the jumbotron that blasted images from the center of the stage said that during the tour 17 children had been born to crew members.

In all, the trip took 13 1/2 hours, 7 of them spent at the stadium. And only 20 minutes spent in traffic, Thank you God. We stopped and had a nice dinner (grilled trout and veggies for me) on the way, and arrived at the stadium around 5:00 p.m. The show began at 7:00 and U2 came on at 9:00. They played for nearly three hours to a crowd that was standing and swaying and singing for almost every song. (including me, of I wished I'd had a tambourine along...I had to settle for clapping my hands or banging on my binoculars :)).

The weather was perfect, with a cool breeze wafting in after dark. The open air format made the sound level more than bearable. Of course it was loud. At least I didn't have any hearing problems afterward :). At times the concert felt like a spiritual experience, which I am sure is what the band intended. The positive energy in the stadium had my hands practically vibrating. (We've been learning all about energy fields in Qigong.) The band came back for three or four encores, the last of which was the best of all, an impromptu song (and one of my favorites) inspired by a friend who lives in Pittsburgh and was at the concert--see the video below.

What can I say, other than it was one of the many highlights of a stellar summer so far. Well worth the time and effort and wait and expense. Of the tickets. Not all the add on "convenience" fees, and the extravagant mark ups for food and drink and souvenirs at the stadium. Can't say I was shocked, because I do get out enough that I've seen prices rise steadily, but this was an orgy of greed going on. They even had announcements that you were not to bring in things like Tylenol, chap stick, and sun screen, because they had them available there for your "convenience."

Yes, and if the food and drink prices were anything to go by, that "convenience" would have cost me dearly.

But the concert itself was awesome, and I'm already scouting around for my next one. This, for me, has turned into the Summer of Music, between the Fourth of July party jam sessions, and the CDs my son has been bringing me for my car. (Taking a break from listening to all those motivational CDs :)) The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Adele...
Yes, Adele. For once I am actually current with something that's going on in the world of pop culture, and it feels good :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Hodgepodge of Catching Up

Wow. This is apparently my 401st blog post here. Whoda thunk I had that much to say? Although at least ten percent of those are guest authors, probably more.

Anyway, I have been super busy, to say the least. My strawberry garden proliferates, only it's full of weeds, not strawberries. I do have a few berries coming in, but need to get out there before the weeds choke the strawberry plants to death. To replace the row of strawberry plants that didn't come up, I planted a row of cherry and grape tomatoes. We get a few a day, and they don't usually make it as far as the house. Nothing like a ripe, warm tomato fresh from the garden.

Instead of weeding, I've been busy trying to clear my desk of projects before my parents come to visit, because I know I won't get any work done while they are here. I don't do well when my focus is divided.

The 4th of July picnic was beyond awesome. I had so much fun playing the tambourine that I developed big bruises on my left hand and right thigh. Each one of them well worth it. What was supposed to be a one day party instead became a two day party, with a surprise birthday party thrown into the mix.

The food was awesome, the company even better. We had music, laughter, Margaritas, and badminton. The weather was great, and the bugs stayed away. We were singing and dancing and jamming well into the wee hours of the night.

I can't believe the phone has rung at least half a dozen times since I started this post. When school's out of session, everything changes from moment to moment. I thought I had a free hour to write something up here, and now I need to go, barely after I've gotten started.

But it's all good. I'd much rather be busy than bored :)