this is a song about susan

e27444i’ve been an everclear fan since i heard them on the radio back in 1996-1997. i went to a concert at stcloud state back in probably 2000 during their “songs from an american movie” tour and then saw them when they played a free concert at the UofM maybe 10 years ago (i’m guessing art -the lead singer – was high. it was NOT a good concert). 

so, when i saw they were doing a 20th anniversary tour for the “so much for the afterglow” album, i called up my brother. two concerts, and i’d never been with the second-biggest everclear fan i know (i’m the first). he was hesitant at first; it’s not the original band – art is the only one who is original. but they were playing an old-school album all the way through for the tour, so he hesitantly said yes (besides – tickets were like $40 each for the third row. can’t really pass that up!). 

charlie and i met at our hotel in red wing then headed up to treasure island, where we had about an hour to kill and needed to eat, so we hit up the buffet. we had a great people-watching seat, ate our money’s worth, and i was eating two plates of pie when charlie decided to take a mini brain break in the bathroom. 

there i am, eating my two pies (blueberry and chocolate mint), when i look up and see art alexakis walking toward the VIP entrance from afar. i freeze, and my first thought is “omg it’s art and charlie’s in the stupid bathroom.” so i fumble for my phone, first to check if i could text him quick with no service, then wondering how on earth i’m going to take a picture surreptitiously without art seeing me. there was just no way because i’m sitting RIGHT THERE and he was getting closer and closer. AAAHHH. 

so i just look at him and and try to smile (it was probably more like a grimace), when he said “wow, that’s an old-school shirt*,” asked me how i was doing, and shook my hand. AHHHAHAAAA. i don’t know what etiquette is for asking celebrities for a picture while they’re heading to supper, so i didn’t even think about asking him for a pic. 

then charlie took another 10 minutes to get out of the bathroom while i was sitting there like OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. 

he was mad for being in the bathroom. he wanted to go over and interrupt art during supper. i didn’t condone that and i was having no part of that but told cha could do what he wanted (he didn’t).

we headed in to find our seats – row 3 was a good choice! super close to the stage, and we were on the aisle, which was great. listened to a couple fastball songs, then headed out so charlie could have a break and i could get a couple beers. came back for a couple vertical horizon songs – got some video!

then everclear set up! IMG_2061

and then they came out on stage playing “so much for the afterglow” – omg it was great. they played side one of the album, then played some of their older songs – heartspark dollarsign, local god, heroin girl – and one of their newer songs, which i hadn’t heard. 

 (my favorite song!)

IMG_2060security was crazy mean. no excessive jumping around or trying to bumrush the stage. i seriously would’ve been ok with a dancing area. trying to jump around with your hands in the air is really annoying when you’re restricted to your chair area. charlie held up his lighter for about 5 seconds during a song, and THAT was a big no. good grief. what have concerts come to! (well, to be fair, we were at a casino, not a true concert venue.)

IMG_2063then they played side two of the album, and they said that once they finished, they’d do the whole leave stage, but really they’ll be back thing. the break they took was like, 15 seconds, so not even really a true encore. had a great old-school 80s guitar play-off, which led into a more rockish version of AM radio than the album had. after that, we heard wonderful, and they finished up the night with santa monica (yay!). 

they played for about two hours, which is pretty amazing. my ears were stuffed afterward and my voice hoarse from screaming lyrics at the guy’s head in front of me. i wish there had been more jumping and waving of arms in the air; toward the end i was like, who cares, and i threw my hands in the air all the time. that was the only thing missing – a mosh pit!

afterward, i asked charlie if he was ok with the other band members being new, and his tune had changed. as long as art was still the frontman and they were playing old songs, he was a-okay.

for the first concert i’ve been to in close to 10 years, this was a great experience!  

*this is all kind of funny because i was having a mini crisis beforehand about the shirt. should i wear it and be “that guy”? could i get away with it because it was from the original tour? i posited the question to facebook, and the consensus was that i should just get over it and wear the shirt. you do you, dude.

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

this is the first time i’ve read this book in more than 20 years. when i first read it, it seemed pretty impossible (well, to a young teenager, probably true). i’ve read a lot of post-apocalyptic YA. i mean, a LOT. and none have kept me up at night like this literary classic did. there was always the hope in the other books that something would make it right – fix the atrocities that were happening. but even the “historical notes” at the end of this didn’t make up for the societal idiocy that is gilead. and reading it? i could see it how something like that could happen in an “advanced” country.

View all my reviews

i’m a state worker. i belong to a union. contrary to popular belief, i do work a lot. that said, the republican-controlled state legislature decided to put language in the MN state agencies funding bill to cripple bargaining rights for wages and health insurance.

i’ve worked in private sector and now in a unionized environment. at my current job, i know i’m getting a fair, equal wage (you can actually go online and look me up – go ahead). my health bennies are pretty awesome. and guess what? i actually am a full union member. after seeing what happened at roch comm and tech after the new president came in and tried to clean house, i consider it a small price to pay for the knowledge that the union has my back if i’m ever unfairly let go.

and after five years, i’m actually pretty proud to work for the state of MN. and i’m proud to be a union member. now, if i were to go back to the private sector, i’m not going to cry about it; i work hard and i do good work, so i know that any job i hold is because i’m good at it. but after seeing 8 rounds of layoffs at my last private-sector job, i can easily say that i will take my union state job over that. 

i wrote to the governor to ask him to veto that bill. gov. dayton is a pretty pro-worker governor, so i’m fairly confident that it won’t pass. and after seeing five emails come through about this, i’m sure state workers all over are calling and emailing him to get rid of that bill. to all anti-union people, i get it. you think your employer does a fine job, and it’s probably so. but are you willing to quit when it’s not doing so fine? that’s what unions help with. i am still ambivalent about unions in general, but i’m glad i have one. 

ho there, garden

i got so much done this weekend; it was pretty unbelievable and bodes well for the upcoming summer of 3-day weekends. today i planted my tomatoes, peppers, and onions. the 10-day forecast looks frost-free, and after memorial day, it’s pretty much a done deal for planting. so in they went! still gotta plant some cukes, green beans, more basil, and my pie pumpkins. as for the other stuff i’ve planted, the only thing that’s come up so far is my peas, and that was weeks ago. not sure what’s going on!

anyway, that aside, today i spent some time tearing up the brush in the yard. O.M.G. what a complete mess. there is a vine of some sort that is crawling up the trees, and i spent a good part of the day tearing some down. nate and i took two truckloads of brush to the compost site. i still have to check out the vine to see if it’s actually harmful to the trees, but it definitely doesn’t look good, so i’ll take it down if i can. 

meanwhile, it’s been rainy and gross, but memorial day weekend is looking better and better, so maybe i’ll get out on my paddleboard again (yay!).

power

this past weekend i visiting melissa in her new house in rinkadink north dakota. traveling more south of fargo and little more west was a different experience; there are more hills, a little more softness to the landscape. it made me want to head a little more south and little more west and go to the black hills or head just west and go to mandan. 

when i visit melissa, i have conversations that i don’t have with anyone else, save for something similar with my brother on the philosophical level. one thing we talked about, which i’d never really considered before (and probably should have) is the idea of women being more powerful than men. i’ve thought about that over the past couple days. 

the gist of it: men don’t want to control and conquer what is already weaker than them. now i’m not sure i 100% can get behind this idea; i think men wan to control and conquer what threatens them as well as what is more powerful than them. but i am open to the idea that women are more powerful than men.

but what is that power? if it is what i think it is, sexuality, therein lies a problem. why is sexuality such a means of power for men? why is the mere presence of a woman, or being alone with any women a la mike pence, such a hard thing (heh) for men to deal with? why did paul/augustine/other church dudes hold women in such disregard? 

if being in the same space as a woman brings on sexual thoughts that a man can’t control, that’s the dude’s fault, not the woman’s. and thinking about a woman in an impure context is going to bring about eternal damnation, right?

so, because men can’t control their sexual thoughts, then perhaps the next best thing is to control the thing that is causing such angst in the moral life. lovely.

what is the real problem here? maybe it’s time to take a look at why a species that is, at its core, sexual, promiscuous, and polygamous, holds beliefs that having sexual thoughts, a completely natural human thing, is bad. 

on an aside, i was listening to a ted radio hour on mpr today and heard a portion of this guy’s ted talk. now i’m going to read his book!

update update

well hi there! long time, no see. 

i ran another half marathon with liz, and i think our downfall was not remember to take some ibuprofin beforehand. we were not happy people crossing that finish line. also, liz was not ready as far as prepping, and she was mid-cold. lots of things working against us this year!

garden has been straightened out and some plantings are in. i’m trying some soap and bone meal to keep away the deer – we’ll see if it works. i’ve got asparagus planted, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, spinach, peas, and kolrabi. gotta wait a couple weeks for the tomatoes and peppers! it might get chilly at night for a couple more weeks! 

also, i <3 spring! i’m amazed at what’s popping up in the flowerbeds at my house. 

this blog thing is really waning and i’m sorry πŸ™ gotta get in the habit of doing it, i guess!