Thursday, February 13, 2014

Last 24 hours...

...have been a little rough.

As some of you might remember, I requested some prayers last week for my mom. A couple weeks ago she had to do a routine mammogram and it showed "something" so she underwent a biopsy last week.

Yesterday she heard back from the doctor and was given a breast cancer diagnosis.

After having met with the doctor later in the afternoon, it was determined that it was caught VERY early and her prognosis is good. - There's a chance the tumor was removed completely during the biopsy but they're not 100% sure yet.

At this point she's just waiting to see a financial specialist to see if she qualifies for assistance for cost of the treatment. Once that's resolved, she'll see a specialist to begin treatment which will likely be radiation.

So there it is. - I mean, as shitty as this disease is, I'm trying to stay positive. Not only for my family but for myself. I'm confident. Now. It took me a bit to get here, I won't lie. But just knowing that the rest of my family are coping well, makes it easier for me.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Aijia - "Learning to Let Go" EP Review

[Disclaimer: If you came here looking for a professional review of an EP you've probably, most definitely never heard of, then you've come to the wrong place. I'm in no way, shape or form part of a music magazine/blog/newspaper (music newspaper? Is that a thing? Probably not.). I'm just your (not-so) average music loving fan girl. One with fantastic taste in music. So really, even if you're looking for something professional and polished, stay for a bit. Read this, discover some cool music. I won't bite. Unless you're into that sort of thing. I won't say no. Just sayin'. - Considering I just wrote a very long thing about not being a professional, I should still point out that I'm not receiving any monetary compensation for this review. Though again, I wouldn't say no to that either. I'd also like to point out, to those who have never read any of my blog entries, I'm very random. I try to be funny, sometimes it works, other times...yeah, no, let's be honest: I'm not that funny. Also, the typos. Dear God, the typos. Oh and the grammar. Geez. - I'd also like to apologize in advance for...things. Just in case. I'll try to behave but most of you know how that usually goes. - Trust me. Just trust me.]

Still with me? Good, that means I haven't scared you. Don't fret, there's still plenty of blog space for that. 

Under normal circumstances, I would start out by telling you how it is I discovered the musician of who I'm writing about, but not this time. It's a weird story. One that no one needs to know. (Aijia, if you're reading this, you'll be the only person who will ever hear it!) 

Now, if you know me well, then you know that I can count on 3 fingers the number of female singers I love. They hold a special place in my heart. I'm not sure what it is but my standards seem to be pretty high when it comes to the ladies. That actually seems so much worse now that I'm admitting it. I can't explain it. Don't ask me to. I can't. So let's just move on, OK? OK. 

-Please Welcome, Aijia.-

Aijia (yes, it's pronounced like the continent. No you shouldn't make a lame joke. She's heard them all. She'll kick you.) is a musician who hales? hailes? none of the above? dammit! comes to us from a small, not-so-well-known place called Los Angeles. It's in California. For those of you non-Spanish speakers, that loosely translates to "The Angels". 


Aijia's EP "Learning to Let Go" was released in November 2012. 

In her EPK video, Aijia says "I grew up on a lot of jazz..." and credits people like Ella Fitzgerald, Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse as major influences. 

It wasn't until after I'd listened to her EP several times, that I came across that video and I immediately said "Yes! I KNEW IT!" And I did. It's very apparent that she's been heavily influenced by jazz and these powerhouse musicians. - In my personal experience, this is the first time I've ever discovered someone whose influences are so obvious in the music. And let me tell you, it's a beautiful thing. 

-Track by Track- [Another disclaimer: Music is open to interpretation. I honestly believe there is no right or wrong. This is mine.]

The first song on the EP is the title track, "Learning to Let Go". - I don't think there is one person in the world who hasn't said they wanted to be in a certain place in life by a certain age. Marriage? Career? Yes and yes. But life has this silly/scary/frustrating way of detouring us. It takes some of us a bit longer to get there. And this song is about being OK with that, as heartbreaking and spirit-destroying as it may be along the way. Sometimes things don't happen at all. But maybe, just maybe that just means something better will come along. 

Favorite lyrics: "I know I'm gonna find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I may be walking blind and my journey might be slow, in the mean time, you know I'm learning to let go." 

The second track is a song called "Parachute". This song is all about letting yourself fall in love. No fear, no barriers. Let every single thing that comes with love just be. Whatever happens, happens. 

Favorite lyrics: "Here I am, here I am again, on the brink of handing him all the world if he asked me to. Oh well."

The third track is called "Searchlight". OK look, I have to say this: Sonically, this is my favorite song from the EP. It has a touch of orchestra. If that even makes sense. It's fun and upbeat. - This song is about being with someone who pulls you out of your darkest moments just in the the nick of time. 

Favorite Lyrics: "You're the searchlight in my dark night. When I'm lost at sea, you find me. You're my searchlight and you're so bright. When I'm sinking deep, you rescue me. We all need someone, only one who will pull you through."

The fourth and final track is a song called "Good Cry". Damn, this song. It's my favorite both lyrically and vocally. Aijia's gorgeous, amazing, beautiful, soulful, perfect voice shines through in this one. - I don't think I could adequately descbribe this song. So I think I'll let you sneak a peek for yourself. Here's a the official video. The arrangement in the video is different than the EP version but still every bit as amazing. 

Favorite Lyric: "It is what it is, I'm not gonna die. Things could be worse. I just need a good cry. It's not what I planned but it'll be fine. I've been through worse. I just need a good cry."

Now then. I'll give you a moment to retrieve your jaw from the floor. Go on. 

You good? Good. 

There you have it. Four songs, four stories. One EP from a ridiculously talented woman. 

In a world of twerking, weird costumes, and all around too many "What the hell!" moments, it's nice to find someone whose voice and stories knock you down then pick you back up and kiss your pain away. Now if we could just get rid of the weird and let the real stars shine through, the [music] world would be a much better place. 

Thank you for getting this far. Please follow the lovely Aijia on Twitter at @AijiaMusic, LIKE her page on Facebook at and check out her EP on iTunes: 

If you're a fan of: Ryan Star, David Cook, Daughtry, SafetySuit, Sara Bareilles, and/or Kelly Clarkson, I think we should get her name out there. In my humble opinion, she would make a perfect tour-mate. Mostly because I'm in love with all of the above and I would die a wonderful death if she could come to Phoenix with any or all of them. - A headlining tour would work too. Just saying. 

OK, now I'm done. Once again, thank you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cause tonight will be awesome.

*Preface* If you're familiar with "FRIENDS", you're well aware that Chandler Bing (THE most amazing TV character to have ever been created, your argument is invalid.) uses humor when things get uncomfortable. Weeeell...this is how this blog is gonna go. I'm gonna attempt to make this less awkward for you by making stupid jokes about things I shouldn't joke about. You're welcome.

Let's be honest, I'm not passionate about much. It took the better part of my life to find something I truly love. The only thing I can say I'm truly passionate about is music. Music is my biggest passion. Not in the "I have musical talent" kind of way. Cause, HA! No. -  But in a "I love it more than life itself and I love the people who create it and the people who love it just as much." kind of way. It's my life. Not to get all Emo cause I know it makes y'all uncomfortable but music, it makes my life. It gets me through every single day. Whether I'm listening to my ipod or listening to the radio hoping and praying I don't hear a Black Eyed Peas song (SERIOUSLY, What. The. Hell. is that even?), it's part of my every day.

Judging by the title up there, you probably think I'm going to a concert, tonight. Right? Well, you're wrong! And you haven't been paying attention to my Tweets/FB status things. Shame on you young grasshopper...s. - But it's OK. I forgive you. Sort of. Learn to pay attention, though. It makes life easier. And I won't feel like you're ignoring me. You don't wanna do that. Trust me.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight, my lovelies, I am going to a book signing. Jenny Lawson's book signing, to be exact. I'm stoked. And scared. Stoked, cause it's my first one. She's taking my book signing virginity. But, the fear? It didn't set in until she tweeted that some people hadn't been able to get into her signing a couple nights ago cause the place filled up. Now, not that I didn't think she could fill up a place cause, dude...she's fucking Jenny Lawson! But I tend to underestimate the size of the places in which events take place. In my mind, Barnes and Noble is big enough to fit the entire city of Phoenix. No, I don't get out much. Can you tell?

But anywho, in the spirit of keeping it short(ish) and not bitter (HA!)...I won't tell you how I discovered her. I'll just say that once I did discover her, our mutual love for Rebel Wilson earned me a follow on Twitter about a week after I started following her. Jenny, not Rebel. Also, I would like to say that if I could get them both in the same room, I would probably be the happiest kid on earth. (OK don't be nasty, I know what you're thinking!)  I'd probably pee myself too but that's an entirely different blog right there.

In the short time that I've been following her, I've developed this HUGE amount of respect for her. She's funny without being crude. Just kidding, she's so inappropriate, it's awesome! Ahem. She's appreciative of the people who've helped her succeed. You've gotta love people who give props to their minions. I mean, support system. *cough*

But I think what I love most about her is that she's willing to put herself out there to help people. She's willing to share things so that others don't feel alone.

See, Jenny suffers from anxiety. I think there are other things she's touched on but I haven't been in the circle long enough to know much more about her.

I'm only going to talk about the anxiety, for now though. Cause honestly, that's the only thing I can relate to at the moment. 

I suffer from SEVERE anxiety. The kind that makes me go from a nervous wreck on the verge of a panic attack to a pissy, bitch within 0.2 seconds flat, because I KNOW 98% of the things I freak out about are not things I should be freaking out about. But I do it anyway. I'm not being treated for it. Why? Because no one but my internet people knows about it. Should I talk to my doctor about it? Probably. Should I tell my family? Abso-fucking-lutely. But not yet. The truth? I don't want to be given yet another pill. If you know me well, you know for a fact I've got a laundry list of things that are wrong with me. Ergo, (yes, I did say ergo), I take an ass-ton of pills. I'm a rolling pharmacy as it is, kids. 

So how do I deal with it? Well, there's the uncontrollable sobbing. That kind of helps...or makes it worse. Depends on the day, really. Then there's Cookie Monster. He's my plush toy. The size of my hand. Poor thing, I squeeze the hell out of him when the shittiest part of the anxiety hits me. Side note: He's gone missing. I CANNOT find him. My mother sweetly pointed out that *Olive probably toy-napped him and most likely has him hostage under my bed. "I'll look. But don't be surprised if all I find is the stuffing." - Thanks, mom. Comforting.

*For those who don't know who Olive is: She's my 1 1/2 year old Shih-tzu/Jack Russell Terrier/Satan mix. She's lovely. Really. *cough*

Then there's THE GLUE. No, I don't sniff glue. Geezuhs, people! - I've said before that I could probably single handedly keep Elmer in business. You know Elmer...the glue guru. 

So, what's the story behind the glue? This is gonna be long. You might wanna go grab some popcorn...and the alcohol. Actually, just grab the alcohol. Another side note: The glue story will bring me back to talking about Jenny. It's all connected. Stay with me. 

Some months ago, on Thanksgiving, or possibly Christmas, I don't remember which, (It was one of those holidays when the entire family gathered at my mom's house and tried to kill one another. Cause we totally need a holiday for THAT to happen) I was just having a bad day. So I sat in my room and I ugly cried. Once that fiasco was over, I looked over at my desk and spotted a bottle of Elmer's school glue. For some strange reason I grabbed it and squeezed some on the palm of my hand. (Yeah, I'm still 28). I spread it in a thin layer and let it dry. Once it dried, my one and only goal at that very moment was to peel it off in one piece. So I went for it. Two minutes later, I had this thin layer of dried glue sitting on my laptop. Suddenly I realized that for the better part of those two minutes, all I was concentrating on was making sure it came off in one piece. Nothing else mattered during those two minutes. Then I realized that it became difficult for me to relive the shittiness that happened pre-glue peeling. So that became a ritual every time shit hit the fan. - I remember doing this as a kid. I don't think it had anything to do with anxiety relief though. I was just a kid who liked to wreak havoc on anything I could get my tiny hands on. Did I mention I've self-diagnosed with ADHD? That probably has more to do with my hypochondria, though. All I gotta do is relate one lone symptom/sign to my every day life and all hell breaks loose. Anyway, back to the glue. Lord bless my 2nd grade teacher for not taking away my glue using privileges. She did supervise my scissors use, though. Smart woman keeping an eye on the clumsiest kid in class. Otherwise I probably would've lived in the nurse's office. Or not at all. So that's my story. My bizarre story. You're welcome, Elmer. I want a cut of the profits.

So why did I dedicate a good portion of this post to glue?! Well, remember that rant about not wanting to be medicated for my anxiety? Jenny says it's OK. 

My response to her was this: "I play w/ Elmer's glue. I don't need to add another drug to my personal pharmacy. It works. Haven't been convicted of anything."

And I haven't been. That you know of. 

The point of this mess that you just read is just to reiterate what she said in her entry: If you're not OK, make yourself OK. Find something that distracts you from the shittyness. Who knows? You might find something to become passionate about. Or something ELSE to be passionate about. Now, I don't know if anyone can become passionate about peeling dried glue off their hand but it sure as hell works for me.

- You like music? Crank up the radio and sing. Or go to a concert...or 5. I can tell you from personal experience, concerts are an amazing escape. 

- You like to read? Get lost in a book. Which brings me to my next point/confession: Jenny recommended (on Twitter) "The Fault in Our Stars." a few days after I received her book in the mail. So here I am, 3 chapters into her book when I decide to look up her recommendation. I found a sampler on Google Play and I was hooked. I bought it and read it. Which kind of gave me no time to actually finish her book. So I'll probably be sitting at the signing not knowing what the hell she's talking about. You only have yourself to blame, Jenny. Seriously, though. Kick ass book. I have no soul left in me but it was totally worth it. - Also because of this, I've gotten reacquainted with books. I hadn't read a book since 2007. I know. 

-You like kicking puppies? Then don't kick puppies. That'll just make a gigantical douchey-dick. You don't wanna be one of those. Trust me. They suck.

I cannot stress it enough: Find your passion. Because even a few minutes spent focusing on your passion is a few minutes spent not thinking about all the shittyness in the world. Shittyness that, well...chances are, is beyond your control. 

Peace out, kiddies.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

You Should Know Better.

The title of my blog? Yeah, it's a song. - By Andy Grammer. If you haven't checked out his music then we can't be friends. Or you could check out his music and save this friendship. If you've checked him out and you don't like him each their own...I guess. Freak. *cough* Sorry, that's not the point of this blog. Moving on.

The point? Well, in the spirit of being a responsible adult and holding myself accountable for the shit that I do (or don't do) and blah blah blah...ahem...I have decided to admit: This weight loss thing? I am officially 10 days in and ain't going...well.

Last Saturday was my first day back at the gym since about 1993. No, just kidding. It was last July, actually.

As you all may or may not know I have lost 18lbs since then. Unfortunately  I don't really know how it happened. Except for having gotten sick for 3 months. Pretty sure I lost a good chunk during that time. Well, having lost those 18lbs (no matter how it happened) gave me the motivation to start on this journey again. Getting past the first goal hump made it seem much more attainable.

So after my doctor's appointment in February (which having GONE to the doctor? That in itself was a breakthrough. Hate going to the doctor) I decided that I would give this another go. I wrote down 3 pages of goals: Nutritional and exercise. And some that didn't fit in either list.  (I've gone to bed at 10pm exactly TWICE) I figured if I wrote things down, I would be more likely to follow through.

That gym thing? I was supposed to go again on Monday AND Thursday but honestly, I think I sent my body into shock or something because I was in some serious pain from Sunday morning to about Thursday afternoon. Heating pads and ibuprofen were my best friends during that time. It was NOT pretty. At all. And yesterday, I couldn't make it out there cause my dad was crazy busy with errands and they close the gym at 2pm.

The food thing? I ate like shit, people. LIKE. SHIT. - I ate fast food TWICE. That I remember. And I drank soda. OhMyGoodness. Not only THAT but I overate pretty much every single day this week. I don't even know WHAT that was about. Seriously, if you put something in front of me, I would have devoured it like I was being paid to. Even if I had JUST eaten. I am ashamed to admit it. And I FELT gross afterwards, too. Like, not just physically, but I just...mentally beat myself up. I know that's not right either but...some of you have read my FB statuses, I'm not all there, at the moment so it made it SO much easier to just be pissed off and convince myself that I deserved to feel shitty.

So now that I have gotten all THAT off my chest, my calorie "allowance" "re-starts" back up again tomorrow. I will try to go to the gym if my dad can drive me, and I will switch my weigh-in day to Mondays. I have to re-do my entire schedule though. Oy. I can't promise that I will definitely go the gym. Again, sometimes shit happens and I can't get out there. (Someone buy me a car. And teach me to drive it. Don't forget to draw up your will.) . I WILL promise this though: If I can't get to the gym, I will work out on Wii boxing for at least 45 minutes. You read it here. If I haven't worked out by 6pm (MY TIME, PEOPLE!) please yell at me. And if you live anywhere near me, come take away my techy toys. Except for my iPod. I can't work out without music.

That's it. I guess. - So for those of you non-Andy Grammer fans, since I couldn't find a good video of the song I used for my blog title, I will leave you with the video of what I THINK is the latest single (which really came out in September): Miss Me. - Cause I mean...glow sticks. And Andy on a rooftop. Why wouldn't you want to watch it?

Peace out kiddies. And again, thank you for getting through my nonsense.


P.S. When I clicked on the video, there was an ad with Justin Timberlake in it. Since a bunch of you are in JT mode since last night's SNL, I thought you'd like to know that both JT and AG beatbox. And they're both so damn good at it. They should battle it out. For serious. That would be amazingness. Ok, NOW I'm done.

"And I promise you this, you're gonna miss me. As long as you live, you're gonna miss me."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Nights.

Buenos dias, ladies and dudes. Actually, it's 11pm.

I'm trying this neat app on my phone for blogger. Perfect for when I'm not on my laptop. But I'm more prone to typos so be kind.

I want to say that a lot has happened since the last time I blogged but that's not really true. It just feels like a lot has happened. Especially in the last few weeks.

I've been overwhelmed. My brain has been filling up with all kinds of nonsense. Insomnia has given me a lot of time to think. Too much time, actually.

Before I fell in love with music, there were boys. But see, I've never had a boyfriend. Didn't know that, huh? Yeah well, that's not really something I wanna shout from the rooftops.

As a teenager, that was a horrible feeling. I used to hang out with a girl who had guys practically kissing the ground she walked and she took full advantage. I soon realized just how much I despised her for that. That friendship lasted too long.

Then, there was the best friend (and I use the term loosely) who I fell for. I was head over heels until the mind games started.

It took years for me to get over it. Years for me to feel ok about myself enough to let it go. Once I realized that I had zero feelings for him, I started accepting that being single isn't the worst thing on earth.

Of course I accepted it. I had music to lean on. My mind had more important things to focus on.

Until recently. I started realizing that I may be developing feelings for someone. The more I think about it, the more I freak out. I haven't had so much as a crush on anyone since the other guy.
The thing is... I don't know him as much as I would like to. But I do know that he's a far better human being than any of the idiots who've screwed me over.

Who knows? Maybe it's JUST a crush and it'll pass soon. Or maybe it's more than that. I need to sort it all out before I dive in heart first.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

An Open Letter to 2011.

Dear 2011:

What can I say? We've been through a lot together. The good, the bad, the ugly. Even the "literally scared for my life."

We started out OK. Nothing eventful. But as time went on, things started getting tough.

First, there's only so much you can take from a certain person who claims to be a friend only to FINALLY realize that over the years, you've been stabbed in the back so many times, you start feeling like a fucking cheese grater. Though I can't really blame him for EVERYTHING. I could've removed myself from the situation many times. I had the opportunity but never had the heart to do it. I then reverted back to my old self for a while. The whole "I'd rather put up with bullshit than be completely alone." But the time finally came when I just said "Enough is enough." I'd rather be completely alone than be in a friendship with someone so toxic. "Let go of the ones who try to put you down." right? Right.

Thing is, after I got away...I wasn't alone. I was left with friends who, sure, I haven't known for very long but that in that short amount of time have showed me more respect than Mr. Toxic did in eight very long years.

Those friends were there through everything. Sure, there are some whom I have never actually MET  before. Others who I rarely get to see and miss like crazy. But...they were there when those internal demons reared their ugly heads and I needed to tell the world to go fuck itself. Some of them agreed. They were there to share some of the best moments I've experienced in a very long time.

But more importantly they were there on that Monday morning in September when I thought my entire world was about to collapse around me. My family has gone through some crazy shit but never have we experienced something so scary and eye opening. I mean, 2010 threw a shitter at us too but this one was different. The aftermath is still lingering. It will for a long time but we're gonna get through it. Eventually.

Without my friends... I honestly don't know what I would have done. I would've been lost.

Let's move on to something...not as bad. The lack of concerts, 2011? Not cool. I didn't see my RockStar. That's never OK with me. I've never gone more than four months without seeing him. I mean, OK...I've only been "hardcore" for (almost) 2 yrs but still. It's now been a year since that crazy ass Tucson trip. Too. Damn. Long.

OK fine, enough with the bad stuff, 2011. Let's recount the good times we had together.

This year I can honestly say that I'm a very proud aunt. My oldest niece and nephew graduated high school. I figured they both were going to take some time off before deciding what they want to do. But no, a few months ago they both decided to enroll in a Medical Assistant program. They're doing good.

My Curly-Haired started pre-school. That's huge. See, he was born with a cleft palate. He's gone through two surgeries to correct it and probably will have to go through a few more. Because of this, his speech isn't perfect. But since starting school and continuing speech therapy, he's improved so much. He's no longer embarrassed to carry on long conversations. Hell, I can't get him to shut up. XD

My (not so) baby sister is having a baby. A boy due in April. Pretty sure we have enough kids to form a basketball team now. LOL

Speaking of basketball, my Mini-Me made the team. THAT is huge. After that hell-ish Monday in September, we weren't sure she'd be able to. Oh and she's in 8th grade. High school for her (and her cousin) next fall. Scary.

Remember before how I mentioned that I didn't get to see my RockStar this year? Well, not all was lost. One day a couple months ago I went to get my mail. I saw two packages for me. One was from  Emily. I knew what it was. She was sending me a stack of Ryan Star postcards. I was kind of intrigued by the second one. I wasn't expecting anything. It was from one of my most favorite girls, Lisa. As I opened Lisa's package I saw a note that said something a long the lines of "Read the first one. It's SPECIAL." I looked further and it was another stack of postcards like the ones Emily sent me. I looked at the first one and there was a short, sweet message from Ryan. I cried like a baby. It was a mixture of missing him, the message, and the sweet gesture from Lisa. I was overwhelmed. Lisa, if you're reading this: Thank you, forever. <3

Shortly after, I was sitting home having a weird night as it was, but also wishing I was at the Ryan Star concert that Lisa and one of my other favorite girls, Julie were attending that night. Julie text me to tell she was in line to talk to Ryan. (I think) we exchanged a couple messages before telling her to give him a big hug from me. A couple hrs later, I get another text from Julie telling me she's going to call me in a few minutes. Hmm. My niece was sitting in my room with me, I kind of wanted to kick her out, but I didn't. ;) About 5 minutes later, my phone rings. She says she's a few people away from Ryan and that she's going to hand him the phone so I can talk to him!!! I almost died! Julie and I talked for a minute while she was waiting. Long story short: There were a ton of people waiting to talk to him so it was very brief. THE absolute best 10 second conversation Of. My. Life. I remember "Guadalupe!" (OMG HE SAID MY NAME!) and "I love you." I literally started hyperventilating. I mean, I was able to get "I love you too" out but after that? Could. Not. Breathe. - Julie, I will never be able to thank you enough for that. Thank you, thank you, thank you forever and ever. <3

Lastly... Oh yeah, I met that other rockstar (and his band) that I kind of like. David Cook. That night was insane. It was all so surreal and amazing. I got a hug from him, Kyle, and Monty. I also got to give them all a WNCC necklace. That was the best moment of the night. And I got to share all of it with my favorite concert buddy, Laura! <3

There we go. My year in a (really big) nutshell.

Unfortunately the time has come. I'm not sure how to break this to you, 2011 but I think it's time we go our separate ways. Don't get me wrong, the good times were amazing and I learned a lot from the bad. It's just...I'm over you. I've found someone else. I can't guarantee that 2012 will be amazing, All I can do is hope. It's what's best for the both of us. You'll be fine. I promise.

I'll always remember you as one of the craziest years of my life and I wish you the best. You have until 11:59 (ha!) tonight to pack your stuff and leave. 2012 will be moving in promptly at midnight.

Thank you for everything.


P.S. Please take everything with you. My heart can't handle any reminders of you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We Believe

So here I am, trying my hardest to remember every single detail from Sunday night. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I started this recap. Originally I wanted to tell you how hellish the past month has been in my life because of a particular event. I wanted to tell you that this show would be my therapy and that there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make sure this was something I would never forget.

In fact, I wrote an entire three and half paragraphs about the above. But upon reading what I had so far, I realized those three paragraphs were a big ball Emo wrapped in Velveeta. Like, not even a thin layer of Velveeta, but it just oozed. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese. Hell, I’ll run your ass over for some cheese but this wasn’t how I wanted it to be. I didn’t want to read this over again and cry before I got to the good, happy stuff because I chose to relive the shitty stuff. Nope. So before I change my mind about NOT reliving the shitty stuff, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

Sunday October 23rd: The best thing that has ever happened to me. Yep. Wait a second…I just said “the best thing that‘s ever happened to me.“ Yes, I know, I say that EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. TIME. I meet a rockstar. Every time. Actually no, I’ve always said that meeting Ryan Star was the best thing. Well…Sunday night has officially one upped that day. I know, I know. I hear your gasps. Hear me out.

Let me explain (and give you the history of my fangirl career at the same time) :

The day I met Ryan, well…he just won be over, plain and simple. I was familiar with The Man’s music. But that was it. As I was waiting to meet him, I didn’t have three years of built up anticipation. Talent aside, the way in which he treated me when we first met? Done. That was it. Fan for life.

Now let’s talk David Cook: I’ve been a fan of The Dude for three-ish years now. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Music wouldn’t be an important part of my life. Because before he came along, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about much. I was at a point in my life where I just expected the worst, always.

Things started to change when I decided that after four years, I would give American Idol another chance. Last time I watched was season three and let’s just say it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. *coughDeGarmoForPresidentcough*

I’m not sure at what point I decided that David was it for me. I know a lot of people have the moment engraved in their brain. The moment when they KNEW he was the real deal. Whether it was a performance or something he said/did. The only thing clearly burned in my brain is the moment when Seacrest said those words, “And the winner of American Idol season seven is…David Cook!” I cried. A lot. But see, after that, I reverted back to my old self. For months after he won, I didn’t keep up with much. I do clearly remember hearing Time of My Life on one those satellite music channels. It was pretty fucking rad. Told you I like cheese. ;)

When I went to the first (and only) Phoenix stop on the Declaration tour. I had my heart set on meeting The Dude. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I was bummed beyond words. Looking back on it now though, I’m glad it didn’t. I wasn’t ready.

So now that I’ve rambled on about stuff I could’ve left off this recap, let’s get to the good stuff!

Back in September, there was an unconfirmed date released for Phoenix, at the State Fair. The Declaration Tour show was also at the fair back in 2009. I only found this out because my Twitter buddy V sent me a text message about it. I hadn’t been on Twitter for most of the day because. we were preparing for mine and my sister’s birthday dinner. So in all honesty, I don’t know if it really was unconfirmed, I just assumed. I freaked out, I told her that I had to know for sure! She asked if there was a way for me to find out for sure and I said I follow the Fair’s Twitter account and I would DM them.

Now before I go on, I should make something clear: I wasn’t a big Gavin DeGraw fan. Not that I didn’t like him, I did, he’s an incredible talent. But I just hadn’t taken the time to listen to his work. Yeah, I know. So in all honesty, I was more excited about David’s set than Gavin’s.

So, I DM’d the Fair’s Twitter account and within a couple of hours they got back to me and said that yes, the show had just been confirmed the day before! I flipped the hell out. Hyperventilating, shaking, speechless. You name it, I went through it. I text V back and we freaked out together.

It was pretty much all I could think about that day. Which wasn’t a good idea. I had people to tend to at my birthday dinner. I was in a complete daze.

The next day, however, I had some time to gather my thoughts. I knew who I wanted to go to the show with.

See, ever since that former best day of my life, my concert buddy Laura and I had been attached at the hip. At concerts, I mean. It’s tough to see each other on non-concert days. We both LOVE and ADORE NeedtoBreathe and Ryan Star. We’ve had the most amazing times so it was natural that I wanted to share my first concert of the 2011 with her. So I asked her about it and she said she’d get back to me. A few days passed and she said that, yes, she’d be able to go! You see people, this is the way a friend should be. When they said they will get back to you, they do! Ahem, sorry…*bitter*.

So anyway, we won’t discuss the ticket angst. I was right smack in the middle of an emotional rollercoaster ride as it was and the ticket angst almost killed me. I said things I shouldn’t have and acted very much unlike myself. And I regret it. I really do.

So after I got confirmation that the tickets were ours, that was it. Laura and I were going to see David Cook and Gavin DeGraw!!! :D

Let’s touch on my emotional breakdown for a bit. I won’t get TOO into it, no reliving the shitty stuff, remember? But it’s relevant.

So, I wasn’t doing well. It was all internal crap, though. I was depressed and became easily annoyed with EVERY SINGLE THING. I mean, I’m not the happiest person on the planet but that was just weird.

A couple days after buying the tickets, I was having yet another shitty day. Reading everyone’s excitement over getting VIP was making me even more depressed. I didn’t think I could afford it. I sure as hell wasn’t doing it by myself. So it was either Laura and I did VIP together or we didn’t do it at all. By the end of that day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to feel better, I needed to do something about my mood. I spent half an hour looking over my bank account, checking how much money I had in my wallet. and looking over what I had to buy before the next time I got money. I then realized I had some birthday money. Enough to cover one VIP package. My bank account then said “There is enough for a second package.” Really, it whispered it to me. ;) So that was that. Laura and I were meeting David Cook. HOLY LADYBALLS! So I tweeted her about it. I wish I’d seen the look on her face. That would’ve been fun! :D

Once the tour got underway, I saw that we would be given the opportunity to meet both David and Gavin if we purchased $45 worth of merch. I seriously considered it. Overkill? Maybe. But I still had a month to think about that.

I also found out that I’d be able to FINALLY meet a few of my Twitter peeps. I was really excited to meet longtime Twitter buddy cool_shades. We’d missed each other at the last DC concert. *sadface*

More crazy non-internal shittyness happened between VIP buying awesomeness and show day. Show day could NOT get here fast enough.

But it finally did! I was nervous, excited, scared and just overall in my own little world.

Before I go on, I do have to share this one thing: As I was getting ready (putting on my concert jeans ;D) my mom tugged on them and laughed. I asked her what was so funny and she said that they were loose on me. Not a little bit, significant amount. I tugged on them…HOLY SHIT, kids. My ass is getting smaller! :D Well, OK, my waist is. XD The last time I’d worn them was…a year ago, actually. Heh. I don’t wear them a lot. There’s a reason I call them my concert jeans. :D For those of you who don’t know, I’m on a weight loss journey as we speak. It’s going well, clearly. LOL

Moving on.

So my parents and I made our way to the fair. They’d drop me off and then head to church. As we were pulling out of the driveway, nerves set it. One: I was nervous there’d be crazy-ass bumper to bumper traffic like the year before. But once we got out on the road, it was almost as if people knew I didn’t need the stress of heavy traffic. Thank you, considerate people for staying home. ;) But then again, like I told my buddy Nicole (hi Nicole!) last year was likely because the fam and I went during the free-admission time window. AND it was the day of the Selena Gomez & The Scene concert. So yeeeah. LOL And two: Uh, I was meeting David Cook. Duh. =P

I finally arrived at the Fair and saw Laura waiting for me. I don’t know what time I got there but by the time we got to the place we were meeting there were a shit-ton of people already waiting. We checked in and hung out for a bit while VIP coordinator/photographer/awesome dude Wade (?) finished checking in everyone else. He then went into how it was all going to work. While we were waiting, Laura went and asked him how we could get our tickets from Will Call since it was still a good 2 hrs before they even opened up. He said he’d check. He also said that for those who couldn’t use the stairs to enter the building, he’d be walking us over to another entrance.

So the time finally came for us to go in. Turns out those of us being escorted separately, were going in first. :D When we went in, we heard singing and Laura said “Wait, what the…is that Gavin?” for some insane reason, I couldn’t really tell. It honestly didn’t sound like David to me. I said yes. LMAO! Oh, fail. W…T…F? Bad fan. XD

I decided that we should stay at the end seats rather than try to get up to the front and be completely blocked by the stupid barrier. Note to venues: Barriers are lame. Seriously.

We get up towards the front end seats and there he is. It was the most surreal thing ever. I don’t know what song we walked in on. Hell, there isn’t much about sound check that I do remember other than I just kept looking at all the guys like I was dreaming. *VELVEETA*

I assumed that the rest of the people would walk in right after us but no. Our small group had The Dude all to ourselves for a good 15 minutes.

Once everyone else walked in, of course everyone wanted a spot at the front. Some people even wanted a spot right in front of ME. I mean, I know I’m awesome and people want to be near me, but blocking my view is NOT cool. Laura said something about it. Loud enough for them to hear so they just kept walking. :D No more people blocking me!

By now you all know he did Creep because someone requested it. But not before saying “Creep? The language in that song is…offensive.” HAHAHA! He then goes right into it. LOL! Yeah, that’s what I thought, Cook! ;) There was a little girl there, by the way. Ha! For shame, Cook! For. Shame.

He played a few chords of Billie Jean. I think. People kept asking him to do some songs from Idol but he said he learned them for the show and forgot them just as quickly.

I want to say he played Mr. Sensitive too but again, memory fails me.

There was a lot of horsing around with those boys. Primarily Andy. He kept saying stuff into the secret microphone. Me thinks it was all kinds of inappropriate.

We were sitting on Devin’s side so I just kept watching him. Also kind of hoping he’d move over just a bit so I can get a small glimpse of Kyle. LOL He did so a few times. I saw mostly hair swinging around. ;)

Let’s talk Monty Anderson for a second: He’s awesome! If I paid attention to no one but him, I’d think this was the actual show. He moves around a lot. He’s fun to watch, even in sound check!

More horsing around from the guys. *coughANDYcough* I don’t remember whether it was David or Devin who said something along the lines of “If only you guys could hear what Andy is saying.” I know they both commented on Andy and his use of the secret mic. Lol

Once sound check ended, we made our way over to get in line for the M&G. I was very adamant about wanting to be last or at least pretty close to last. Laura wanted to know why. I told her I was crazy nervous and I needed some time to get it together. At that point, cool_shades walked up. There was no introduction. We just said hi and started talking about random stuff. Which was pretty freaking awesome. She’s rad. She talks fast. XD LOL

While in line we met some new friends and talked some more.

The line seemed to move pretty quickly at first. It freaked me out. First, because I felt like we would be there in no time. I was still too nervous. That would not go over well. And second, that could only mean people were being rushed. I don’t do well under pressure like that. I was worried.

Before I knew it, there was a small group of us. Wade then came out and said something about them running out of time. He said we’d be getting our VIP stuff but that they’d have to finish the M&G after the show. Unless there were people who couldn’t stay afterwards, then they’d take them back right then. Someone asked if the entire band would be there and he said yes. It was an early show (6pm) and because it’s the fair, they were under time constraints, meaning we wouldn’t get a very long set from either David or Gavin. So it would end early too. I live about 15 minutes from there so I said I was OK to do it afterwards. So was Laura.

At that point, the venue doors were about to open so someone came out and quickly handed us some wristbands. Said those were to get into the M&G without a problem. I told Laura that if the adrenaline is still pumping I’d be getting us a M&G for Gavin too! LOL

As we approached the area where the table on which our VIP stuff was, Wade said we were getting the opportunity to do both M&G’s if we wanted to! I said, “Wait, seriously?!“ He smiles and says “Yeah!“ I high-fived him and told him he’s awesome! LOL He said he would make sure our group would be first in line for the M&G so he wrote “1st” on our wristbands.

I asked him if he was giving me his autograph and he says “Nah, it’s not worth much.” And I said “Of course it is, you’re awesome”, and he laughs. I’m quite the charmer, right? ;)

After we got our VIP stuff, the lady who was giving it out escorted us to Will Call. Once we had our tickets, we made our way back inside the venue. As I tweeted that day, there was some sort of mistake with our seats. Remember that I had said we had front row or close to front row seats because that’s what the TM rep had told me? Well, that wasn’t the case. Judging by what the front row looked like (I peeked during sound check) I think the seating chart is quite inaccurate. Laura talked to the security. We were seated in the correct area. Now, I decided not to argue for a couple reasons: 1) It was extremely close to show time and 2) All reserved tickets are the same price. If they were priced by section and I was charged for front-ish row, you better believe I would’ve fought with someone. I will say this: My seats for this show were closer than for the first show. So, there was one positive there. :D

I won’t get into the actual show much except for maybe: It kicked off with Circadian, I LOVE Paper Heart live, and Let Me Fall for You was fucking amazing, too! The end with Andy (and Kyle?) is beyond awesome! Laura loved it and said she would tell them!

Next up was Gavin DeGraw. Now I have to confess: I only bought his NEW album a couple days before the show so I wasn’t too familiar with everything just yet.

I’d heard such amazing stuff from people who’d already been to a show but that didn’t quite prepare me for him. This dude has ridiculous stage presence! The way everything just flows together is incredible! Soldier was amazing! I love that song.

Let’s talk about that piano stool: I want to be his piano stool in my next life. Or his microphone. I don’t care which one. Dude was ALL OVER both, I mean DAMN! That man is sex on stage. Every single move he made was sexified. Not even kidding. He’s hot. The way he moves is hot. I had joked with Laura before the show that we were both losing our Gavin DeGraw virginity that night. And I meant it in the concert sense, but we got a bit more than we bargained for. So yeah, piano stool, next life please. Thanks. XD

Soon, the show ended. We made our way to the M&G line. Turns out that those who’d bought the merch/M&G were already in line so we had to squeeze through everyone. I tried not to let Laura kill anyone. She was trying to kill people in order to get us to the front ASAP. LOL

We were escorted to the M&G area which was towards the back of the venue… OUTSIDE! Where the buses were. Yep. We get there and there’s this thing set up. Like a tent type of thing. I was surprised not to see Gavin there. It turns out that VIP people got in first so that we could meet with the band. We would then have to get back in line for the David/Gavin M&G.

The SECOND I looked over at them, I started to hyperventilate slightly. We were in the middle of the line. I didn’t want that. I told Laura. I’m pretty sure she wanted to hit me at that point. So off we went to the back of the line. Cool_shades and her sister were there. She wanted them to be dead last so we just got in front of her.

We watched people go up to them. At one point a lady who apparently was celebrating her birthday, gave them all party hats and noise makers to wear for her picture. The noisemakers were the kind you blow into and the paper rolls out. You know what I’m talking about. Then all of a sudden, Andy put his noisemaker in his mouth and blows on it, and the roll-out part smacks David right on the side of his face! Hard. Like, I heard it hit his face. David then let’s out a very loud “OW!”. I don’t think Andy really meant to get him, or at least he didn’t mean for it hurt, cause he apologized really quickly. David’s pain aside, that was the most hilarious thing of the night!

Finally…my turn. AS SOON as the person in front of me walked away, Laura practically pushed me into them. MEAN! XD I shook Kyle and Andy’s hand. Not sure if I shook David’s, Devin’s or Monty’s but I def. did not ignore them. Yay me! I kind of froze a bit so I handed David all the WNCC necklaces. I said “These are for you guys”. He gets them and says “Alright, let’s distribute them.” I don’t know what I was thinking not handing them out individually. Nerves, I guess. Devin said there was an extra one. It was then that I remembered I brought an extra one for Andrew. David said he’d be seeing him in a few days so he’d get it to him. When David got a second to look at his necklace he says “Oh wow! These are pretty cool! Thank you!” I just said “yeah” and nodded. Oy.

Right at that moment, Devin got my attention by saying “How does this look?“ I looked over and he already had the necklace on. I said “PERFECT!” I was so excited to see him wearing it. :D I then look up at David and he’s putting HIS necklace around his neck. OHMYGAWD, best moment for me, right there. I almost cried, actually.

I hand David the Chiefs beanie I had for him. I said “You probably have about a thousand of them, but there you go anyway.” He says “Actually, I DON’T have a Chief’s beanie. Thank you.” Then tells me “They won today! Yes! Against the Raiders”. Then I think it was Monty who said “Oh yeah, they did!” I was thisclose to saying “Oh they won? That’s a miracle.” But that would’ve been mean. Plus I don’t care enough about football/Chiefs to talk trash. :P

Then I handed Andy the Lost In America CD and asked him if he’d sign it, he said yes, takes it then Monty says to me “Do I get to sign it? Cause, ya know…I played on it.” LOL! I said “You DID play on it. Then in that case, you BETTER sign it!” And he smiles. And I died a little. I happen to like Monty’s smile. :D

When I got my LIA CD back, I asked them to sign my TLM CD. As Devin was signing it, I asked David a question regarding a potential cover. (A twitter buddy asked me to) Devin looked quite interested. When I got my TLM CD back, I was asked to pose for the picture. I looked to see where to park. Devin then moves over towards Monty (to his right), points to a spot between him and David and says “You can get right here.” David then says, “Here, just back up right in here. I’ll make room” Dude then spreads his legs. Yes. David spread his legs for me. Be jealous. ;)

Wade then snaps the picture. As I’m about to move he says “Hold on one second. Let’s do another one, cause Monty was doing I don’t know what, there!” All of a sudden I hear everything from “Dude! Really?!” to “Aw, come on Monty!” LMAO!!!

When the pic is finally taken, I turned around to say bye and thank them. I then stopped by Monty and this happens:

Me: Dude, behave yourself!

Monty: Do you know how many times I hear “Dude, behave yourself“?

Me: Uh, a lot?!

Monty: Exactly! But it wouldn’t be the same for these guys if I behaved myself.

Me: HAHA! That’s right!

Monty: Right? *high-fives me*

Me: Ha! Alright, I’ll see you…oh wait, uhm…can I get a hug?

Monty: Of course, come here.

*hug* followed by me *dying a little* I love Monty. A little. XD

Right as I was gathering my thoughts, Laura finished talking to the guys. When we regrouped I said “DAMMIT! I didn’t ask Kyle or David for a hug.” Right that very second, David moved close to us to put some gifts on the floor. Laura took the opportunity to get his attention and said “Hey, David? Can you give this girl a hug?” David looks over at me and says “of course”. He walks over to me and wraps his arms around me and gives me a squeeze. I died again. *sigh*

Security dude escorted us back into the building where the line for the David/Gavin M&G was. Since we were last for VIP, we were last in line for the other M&G also. I was totally ok with this. :D

We met up again with our new friends (sans cool_shades) and hung out until it was time for us to go back in. They were only taking people in groups at a time. It took a while. A LONG while. There were quite a lot of people.

Finally it was our time to move along. When we got outside, the line was pretty long. It wrapped around the tent by one of the buses. As we were waiting, we say Kyle walk out of the bus and walk over to talk to Gavin’s drummer. I wanted so badly to go over to him and get a hug but I sure as hell didn’t want to interrupt. I told the girls that one them should call him over once he was alone. Well, that never quite happened. Both guys disappeared. We looked over at the bus and Devin was there. I was tempted to call him over too, but decided not to.

Once we were under the tent thing again, I looked over at David and it didn’t quite seem as surreal as before. Of course, by then I’d gotten rid of the nerves.

I didn’t know what I was going to say to either him or Gavin. I’m not going to lie, I kept staring at David. I want to say it was in a non-creeper way, but that would be a lie. I tried the side glance. That felt weird. So I just stole a few “obvious” glances here and there. All was good until he looked over at me at the exact same time I looked over at him. He smiled and did the wink and the gun thing. You know what I’m talking about, right? Right. I just about DIED! It was cute, y’all. Too cute.

FINALLY we get to Gavin. He was standing a few feet from David. This is what happened (note: I think he was a wee bit…drunk lol):

Gavin: Hey! What’s your name?

Me: Hi, I’m Guadalupe!

Gavin: How are you?

Me: I’m fantastic. How are you?

Gavin: I’m great, thank you.

Me: Dude, you put on one HELL of a show!

Gavin: Aw, well thank you baby. Where are you from?

Me: *confused* Uh, from here…? Phoenix…?

Gavin: How do you like it here?

Me: I really like it. A lot.

Gavin: Really? That’s good. I talked to a lot of people that are from here and they’re like “Phoenix sucks, I want to get the fuck out of here.” And it’s crazy. I mean, you don’t like something, change it, ya know?

Me: That’s right. Fuckin’ do something about it. Do what you can.

Gavin: Exactly. *He holds out his hand for a fist pound* :D *I look at his hand*

Me: I love your ring.

Gavin: Aw thank you, baby. I was going to get it engraved, but I figured why? Things change way too fast. *Me thinks he meant get it engraved with a girl’s name* ;)

Me: Well, you know what you should do? Engrave MY name on it! :D

Gavin: You’re right. I’ll do just that. Perfect!

Me: Haha! It won’t fit though.

Gavin: Yes it will, baby. I’ll get it engraved really tiny. It’ll fit.

Me: Alright, that works for me.

Gavin: OR…a better idea… *holds out his hands* I’ll tattoo your name across my knuckles.

Me: Wha…OK! HAHAHA! That’s even better!!

Gavin: *points at my ticket stub* Let me sign this for you, baby.

He signs the ticket stub, I thank him and move on to David.

Me: Hey Dave!

David: Hey, again!

Me: Did you miss me? ;)

David: I *did*!

Me: Really, David? Cause I mean, it’s only been like an hour.

David: You know…*sigh* it feels like days.

(Oh he’s good LOL)

Me: Ha! *I take out my This Quiet Night CD* Can you sign this for me?

David: Absolutely.

Once he signs it, before we pose for a pic…

Me: *shoving my purse towards Laura* Here, fuckin’ hold my shit.

David: I…wow. I’m…offended.

Me: Wha…really? Says the dude who sang Creep, earlier.

David: *laughs* Ahem, right.

I get my pic with David (can you say Gavin photo bomb? and Oh hell yeah, I put my arm around him) then Gavin then runs over to pose for one with me. All of sudden he lifts his shirt and does a belly roll. I acted all innocent-like and “covered” my eyes. HAHA! Laura told photographer dude to get a picture of it but Gavin quickly put his shirt down. It was awesome!

Once we were all done, we said our thank you’s and goodbye’s to the boys and headed out.

All of a sudden we spot Kyle and Wade talking to a lady. We subtly made our way over to them. I wanted to say thank you to Wade but by the time we got there he and the lady were talking just the two of them, leaving poor Kyle to us. ;)

I didn’t know quite what to say other than hi. I got nervous and started looking around like a complete weirdo. Next thing I know, Kyle and my new friend Joy were both looking at me. I said “What? WHAT?! Tell me!” Kyle just smiled and Joy said “Nothing”. Sneaky people! LOL

Suddenly security dude with StickUpTheAss-itis comes over and says “YOU ALL NEED TO CLEAR OUT!”

Kyle says “Can we just get a picture?” I don’t know whether security dude didn’t hear him or chose to ignore him, but he just walked away. JERKFACE!

Kyle then kneels down to my level (so cute) and poses for a pic. I thank him for the pic. He says “You’re welcome”, looks me straight in the eyes and says “thank YOU for coming.” Brain. Fried. I don’t even know how I managed to ask him for a hug before he stood back up but I did it!

I have to say, that hug was the best one of the night. Why? Well, Monty’s was a great, solid hug but pretty quick. David was awesome because he put his arms fully around me but it was around my shoulders. But Kyle…he put his arms completely around me, in a full embrace and practically squeezed the stuffing out of me. I’m totally inclined to say it was better than a certain someone else’s hugs. But I won’t. Ahem.

As we’re walking away, new friend Joy tells me she told Kyle that I’m a huge fan of his but that I was too shy (ha! ;D) to ask myself if I could please get a picture with him. Sneaky! ;)

With that, ends an amazing night. Live music, old friends and new ones, and finally meeting my musical heroes. Yes, plural. That entire band is made up of amazing, talented dudes who changed my life for the better. I hope Devin sticks around for the long haul. He’s a great dude and a wonderful addition to the band.

I will forever be grateful to them and Gavin DeGraw for such an amazing night. Gavin has made a fan out of me.

For good. Until next time, kids.

"We believe there's a reason that we're all here, that every doubt will disappear. We believe. We believe that tomorrow carries something new and after everything that we've been through, we believe."

"In our time, if we hit a wall that we can't climb and if we stumble at the finish line , we'll start again."

"Everyone, every single person under the sun, has moment where they know they've won."

"In the power of hope, in the strength of peace, there's a way back home when the battles cease. A new world will grow if we just believe. This what we know, this is what we need."