America!

Tonight, we attended a performance by the wonderful, fun musical group America. They were friends as teenagers living in England way back when their parents were stationed there in the military, I believe in the 1970s. They opened for Pink Floyd when they were 18, and have been going strongly ever since, doing roughly 100+ concerts yearly for 52 years.

As the different songs came on, seeing my mom was one of the coolest parts of the night. “Gah, I feel like I’m 15..,” was what she said early on when a particular song played that had often played at her school dances back in high school. On one, when it started, she said something like, ‘Oh, this one is s total make-out song,’ referencing how all the kids would get together for this song at dances. It was really fun, but also informative – it was great getting to see this history of my mom, as well as enjoy it all with her myself.

Thank you, God, and thank you, America, for such a wonderful night! In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

No doubt…

… that was an awesome concert.

Gwen Stefani is another one of those artists who played an important role in my childhood. I remember singing the choruses to two of No Doubt’s songs while dancing around in the living room at our original house when I was only about four years old. They were “Spiderwebs” and “Don’t Speak”. I didn’t know what most of the lines meant, and I even had a few words wrong (“I gotta scream my phone calls,” instead of screening them, because had no idea that screening a call was something that existed), but I loved those two songs. To this day, I can still see the image I had in my mind of this woman climbing around and walking inside this massive spider web, while her landline phone was ringing in the distance. The phone was yellow, by the way. I genuinely thought she was telling a story of how she was doing crazy stuff, like walking in an actual spider web – she was out living life – instead of sitting around, waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for calls. I’ve related to it that way ever since it came out almost 27 years ago, and I have no expectation of that changing at his point – if it hasn’t changed already, I think it won’t at all.

So, all that being said, Gwen Stefani is kind of on par with Ricky Martin in terms of how it played a role in my early childhood. Naturally, when she sang “Don’t Speak”, therefore, I cried a bit.

And then, for Spiderwebs a coupe songs or so later, I went nuts jumping around and dancing.

I did that on several songs, of course, many of which I had either forgotten had been Gwen Stefani’s songs or that I had never known were Gwen Stefani’s songs.

Of course, she ended the concert with “Hollaback Girl“, and I then discovered that it wasn’t, “Mmm this much. Mmm this much,” but “Mmm this my sh**. Mmm this my sh**.” Rather different lyrics, yes, and the real ones don’t actually fit musically as well as my version of them. So, I’m sticking to my original understanding of the lyrics on this one.

All in all, it was a great and fun concert. And she even declared, “Praise Jesus!” at one point, which was baller in a whole new way. And no, Blake Shelton did not show up. She said early on that he was “babysitting” her kids… and my friend said, ‘I believe that is just called ‘parenting’.’ 😛 But the concert was filled with songs, and she even went over by about ten minutes, she had packed so much music into it. It was great.

Thank you, God, for the absolute blessing that was tonight and today on all levels. Please, especially, bless those who showed love to me today in particular, that they feel your love more fully tomorrow. Please, guide us all to be your love through our lives. Help us to be who you made us to be. And thank you for this opportunity of life. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Set my eyes upon you…

Tonight was the For King and Country concert after the rodeo. My mom and I were both surprised at how much we enjoyed it. Those guys are loving and love-filled, and they are blessing the world with both their music and their words. It felt like Church, somehow, tonight, homilies included. And they actively made a call to restore chivalry and to love, honour, and respect women at all stages and relationships for the priceless children of God that they are.

It was awesome, really. And they love to play drums (and some other instruments mixed about). They reminded me both of little kids at play and of the scene in Tarzan where all the animals are making music with the human camp’s stuff. It was a blast to be with them tonight.

What’s even more spectacular than what I’ve already mentioned? The fact that, at the end of the concert, when it seemed over – lights were off and everything – they did a sort of encore, beginning with saying, “Merry Christmas, Houston,” and then playing/singing “The Little Drummer Boy”. Spectacular. Dreams come true… I was just singing Christmas music the other day, and listening to some. Naturally, people think I’m nuts for wanting it outside of November and December. But I like to spread it throughout the year, instead of to cram it into an overload just before Christmas itself.

So, yeah… good night.

At that, goodnight!

Post-a-day 2022

(Still have I think about it ^)

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

I went to the gym for the early Saturday workout today at 7:30. Then I went to meet my mom and a friend to help remove and dispose of the Christmas wreaths that had decorated all the graves at the Houston National Cemetery for US Veterans. It was really neat, and there were loads of people there to help. (I even got to see the spots for an old family friend and my current housemate’s/host’s grandfather.)

Then I had food and goofed around with the baby for a while before finally showering and taking a needed nap before tonight. Then I went to our rodeo committee’s social, collected some tasty barbecue that I’ll eat tomorrow, danced with a friend to live Kevin Fowler music, and then rushed into downtown to attend another live concert – but this one was unknown to me until this morning: Elton John.

There is so much I could say about this man, this master of his art, but I will keep it short here: I grew up with this man already being a legend to me. He was unreachable status, and I never even considered one day attending a concert of his – it just wasn’t going to happen, so my brain didn’t even give itself the time to be sad about it. And then, at the gym this morning, someone invites me to go with her, and she states clearly that she won’t have me pay her for my ticket. She just didn’t want to go alone, and her friend had bailed on the concert. I was absolutely delighted to step in for the drop-out this time(!!!). The concert was fabulous. This man is about to turn 75 (on 25 March). This was his 20th concert in Houston, Texas, the first having been in 1971. He can’t sing really high anymore. He hobbles slightly with his walk. He wore two sparkly suits – one all white with a Long tail and a red snake on the back, and one like his famous red checkered blazer (super sparkly, though) – and then a pink lounge-y kimono with a sparkly butterfly on the back, which he eventually took off to reveal a sparkly red and blue track suit. He changed his glasses twice, but all three pairs had rose-colored lenses. He wore his iconic right pointy earring. He plays piano like on the record albums. His spirit is evident in everything he plays and in every arm thrust and body shake he does. And, get this, he gets up from the piano after every song, (sometimes walks around bowing and encouraging folks to cheer and make noise a bit) shuffles to a little table/stand behind him, spits in a bucket, takes a sip of water, and then shuffles back to the piano and sits back down.

I am extremely grateful for this lovely opportunity, in addition to the beautiful blessing that has been the works and passion and gracious giving and sharing of Elton John’s art. Thank you, Good Sir, for all you do and have done. And thank you, God and Universe, for letting me be part of this glory tonight. May we be blessed with such love often in our lives, and may Sir Elton John truly feel the loving gratitude so much of the world has for him. Amen.

One of my favorite songs ever is “Crocodile Rock”, which he played, of course. But he sang way low for the “la”s, and it was adorable and awesome!
Beautiful concert. And all the better for not having massive screens to distract us from just seeing him and listening to the music and the feelings thereby evoked.

P.S. He said that “Your Song” was his first hit in 1972. Is that right, or did I mis-hear him? Perhaps it released in 1970… But, also, that was 50 years ago. FIFTY YEARS, and his music and performances are still amazing. Thank you, Sir!

Post-a-day 2022

(Barely!)

Bedtime, Satisfied

Today was a wonderful day, filled with wonderful happenings and lovely people.

I’m exhausted and need to sleep now, so I’ll share about it all tomorrow, but I’ll mention that it included procuring a German girl from a hostel – no, we didn’t even know of her existence until we kind of ran into her – and bringing her around town to do fun things with us, none of which would have been in her Houston guidebook, but all of which she seemed thoroughly to enjoy.

We had a blast, too, my mom and I.

That violin, however… I’m not too sure it had a good time… that was rough…

😉

Post-a-day 2019

How far we’ve come

I saw the light
I’ve been baptized
By the fire in your touch
And the flame in your eyes
I’m born to love again
I’m a brand new man

As these words rang out across the stadium – quite clearly, surprisingly, seeing as where we were – my lips were already moving in synch, silently matching every word since the initial “I”… and tears welled in my eyes, beginning almost immediately to overflow.

I was attending the Brooks and Dunn concert at the rodeo tonight in Houston, kind of as a celebration of my life, for my birthday – something for me, on my own.

I’d asked my mom to stick around with me, but she was ready to head home, so I was okay hanging on my own for the musicians and their music.

When I was about eight years old, I attended the Brooks and Dunn performance at the Astrodome, also for the rodeo.

During their performance, when walking around on the dirt, they pulled two ladies out from the audience to dance with them.

I remember distinctly being upset and embarrassed as the one lady proved, after two quick but failed attempts, that she could not do any sort of partner dancing, let alone the by of two-stepping one of them wanted to do with her.

Rather than rejecting the lady, reading her out for a better model – that’s actually how my brain analyzed it at the time – he just grabbed her around her waist/hips area, and swung her around in a circle or few.

My frustration at this lady for having been unprepared for such a monumental opportunity – dancing with Brooks and Dunn – was not only projected blindly, but had me consider how I would have done, if I’d been the one pulled out onto the floor…

I was rather confident that I would have been able to manage it.

However, I fully acknowledged that I was not certain.

And so I made it my business immediately after this event to make certain that I knew how to two-step and could do it with just about anybody on demand.

Fast-forward a couple decades, and see me at the concert tonight… I found it almost ironic that, though I never anticipated to be pulled out to dance with Brooks and Dunn, here I was, two decades later, likely one of the best country western dancers in the entire stadium, knowledge, ability, and a world title to prove it.

Isn’t that at least a little bit totally crazy?(!!!)?

Anyway, so I can dance, and extremely well, but that’s only part of my mentioning all of this.

When the guys began playing and singing tonight, I was in instant and somewhat constant tears (even throughout the whole show!), right?

Right.

And it occurred quickly to me, This is the power of music.

I was somehow transported to my life when I listed probably daily to Brooks and Dunn music, as I simultaneously saw all that had happened between them and now, how what felt like a lifetime and ten different people ago had somehow led me to today, to who I am today.

There was a lot of good and a decent amount of bad in there, especially early on, and it was a very, very full time all throughout.

And, somehow, here I am, experiencing it all again, while feeling empowered by the open bliss and joy for life I felt back then, reminded of the sadness of what I went through off and on, and encouraged by the fact that I have made it to here so far, and I’ve plenty more wonderful expansion and beautiful growth yet to come for myself in my life.

All of this from music, specific songs and notes and voices and instruments all put together in a certain way, as though, almost, specifically and intentionally with me in mind.

It was of the best kind of medicine.

And this reminds me of how my high school band director always used to tell us that music is a language… tonight, their music spoke directly to me, throughout every place within me.

Post-a-day 2019

High School Fun in the Club

In high school, a friend convinced me to go to a Benny Benassi concert with a small group of friends.  It was the three guys and my best friend and I.  It was my first time going to a club with friends who weren’t dance friends, but just regular friends, and I think it was my first club concert experience, too.  Whatever the case, it was an exciting night for me, and for the others.

We had arranged for everyone to sleep at my house that night.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was our best option.  My best friend and I had to be up early for graduation the next morning (Yes, our own graduation), and the guys had to leave a few hours later, when my mom was heading out to come to our graduation.  So, the guys were getting more sleep than we were, but not too much more.  (Their graduation wasn’t until the Sunday morning.)

At the concert, we all had a great time.  It was my first experience of noticeable public smoking of marijuana, which was oddly neat, finally seeing that world, but in a safe environment, and where it wouldn’t affect me in any way.  But the best part of it all was the dancing.

Being trained in something is cool and all, but being able to be free from the training, and just do my own thing is always way fun.  It was a blast just dancing around without concern, surrounded by friends.  Okay, we did have a concern for space at times, but we were really good at getting people to spread away from us, so we had our space to dance comfortably.

In the later dancing, however, came the unforgettable part: My self-given challenge.  You see, my friend Victor had worn a sideways baseball cap, and that apparently was enough for me to devise myself a fun little challenge to get as much off of Victor as possible.  The key challenge was to do it without his noticing.

I think the others each found out about my challenge at some point or other – heck, I think the idea partly sprang from their suggesting I try to steal his belt.  (We were not being sexual about it at all – it was totally surface level fun… just so we’re clear.)  And so, we all knew, and Victor had no idea that anything was up.

After a great time of dancing and cheering and whatnot together, we all were ready to head home.  Walking in the parking lot, after exiting the club, not one of us comments on what I am wearing.  Victor, however, looking down at himself, practically exclaims suddenly, “Woah!  Why does my shirt only have two buttons closed?!”

We all keep our silence as we struggle not to burst with laughter.  After what felt like forever, but likely was only a second or three,  Victor figures it out.  (I think it was a combination of our telling him and his realizing bits on his own.)  in addition to my own clothing, I am wearing Victor’s hat and belt.  And I was so close on the button-down he was wearing – there were a million buttons on it, and I had all but two undone.  I believe I also had his wallet, and possibly his car keys.  And he had no idea about any of it.

For whatever reason, I was proud of my accomplishments.  Being stealthy took skill, and I was proud to have had it in abundance that night.

Yeah, that was a good time.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017