Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Springsteen tickets with a side of chicken fried rice

     Two days until the +Bruce Springsteen concert and I still hadn't scammed any tickets. Since I "have a job now", my parents said they weren't buying them for me like they had in the past. The clock was ticking and I was getting desperate.
    With one, last ditch effort and my best princess voice ready, I dialed Daddy's cellphone......But before I could lay on the charm, he said, "Don't worry about the Springsteen concert. It's taken care of. "  Huh? What? How? He wouldn't answer my questions but he assured me the tickets would be good. I was over the moon about going (and not having to drain my bank account for a ticket); however, his vagueness about the details left me a bit uneasy.
     I decided to distract my brain from these negative thoughts. My project for the next 48 hours:  make a one of a kind Bruce tee to wear and a sign to hold.  I cropped an old Springsteen shirt and then sewed some sheer material to the bottom...so adorbs!! My sign read "Give the Girl a Kiss" with an arrow pointing at me (FYI that is a name of a Springsteen song not a plea from an obsessive fan.)
   Anywhoo, concert day rolls around and my parents still would not tell me anything except, "Don't worry. It's taken care of." All I knew was the clock was still tickin' and I still didn't have a ticket.
   I met up with Parents and Big Bro at +Blue Line Grille at 6:00pm for dinner before the concert. We were all starving and the place was packed with a 1 hour table wait. The security guy at the door wouldn't let me into the bar because I didn't have my ID..... AND still no tickets.....not off to a good start. Then my dad spotted some guy that he said he knew," Hey, that's Doc! He owns the place." He had a quick conversation with him. With a wave of the hand, I am allowed past the security guard. Then Doc took us up an elevator to the second floor bar where it wasn't as crowded. Unfortunately, they don't serve food up there (yet) but I was able to get a few cocktails.
   With the doors open to the outside deck, the cold breeze was getting to me...not to mention the diet coke & rum on an empty stomach...."Where the h*ll is my ticket!?!"
    Then all was revealed.....sort of. Daddy's good buddy from Chicago was in town and yada yada yada....they played golf with Springsteen's tour manager and head of security who told them, "Don't worry. It's taken care of." OMG!! This is amazing....but, still, where are the tickets? It was almost 7pm. Daddy said that we were waiting for a text from Chicago Buddy who was waiting for a text from Tour Manager Guy.
    Okay....I was not digging this plan. The Blue Line was starting to clear out as all of the actual ticket holders headed over to the +CONSOL Energy Center . As Big Bro & Daddy were trying to get a pizza delivered to the Blue Line, Doc came & told us our table was ready. Yes!!...........No!!......Stop!! Daddy's phone tinged. It was a text from Chicago, "Meet at China Wok now!!!"
   We flew down the stairs and out the door. A passerby told us that the China Wok was to the left a couple of blocks. We were walking as fast as possible against a tide of Springsteen fans heading to the concert. Quick thinking Bro googled China Wok and, yup, we were going the wrong way. Within 5 minutes though, we were in front of the China Wok. Praise be!
    Okay.....now what? Chicago just texted, "Wait at China Wok. I'll be there in 10".
    It was freezing out and I didn't wear a jacket (I couldn't cover up my one of a kind Bruce tee!!); so, we went into the China Wok and stood in the doorway. While they were complaining about the lack of food again, I was thinking that I'm getting punked. Really? Am I to believe that 30 minutes before the start of the concert, Tour Manager Guy & Head of Security Guy are going to stroll over for some Chinese takeout & hand us our tickets?
   Okay.....now we all had to go potty. The sign taped right in front of our noses plainly states, "Restroom for Customers Only". And there was no way to sneak by the counter. Big Bro made the ultimate sacrifice for us all and placed an order for chicken fried rice. He was so hungry that he actually ate half of it( and gave it a thumbs up) before .....
   Another text from Chicago, "Meet me across from China Wok". Leaving the chicken fried rice behind, we raced across the street & found him & his 3 buddies. 
    Okay.....now what? We all just stood there silently and waited for the text from TMG. But I think we were all preparing ourselves for the worst and how we were going to run Chicago out of town........Ting! OMG!! It was TMG. "Meet at top of stairs across from China Wok."
    We raced up the deserted steps to find a closed door without a handle........then it opened it. Tour Manager Guy!! Praise be!!
    It was all too much. We were entering backstage through a backdoor at a Bruce Springsteen concert.
   He handed us each 2 wristbands (which put us in The Pit!!) and a green, triangle sticker (which we weren't sure what it was for). He showed us around a bit and then took us out to The Pit through the stage opening and across the stage! Oh, yes, I did!  He was telling us things about the tour and such, but my head was in the clouds.

  Then for the next 3 hours, Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band with Tom Morello rocked & rolled us to heaven & back.

   At the end of the encore, we followed Chicago to the side of the stage where a security guard stood by a metal barricade, we showed him our magical, green sticker and he let us through. The 8 of us lined the tunnel leading backstage as The Boss, with a few waves & head nods, walked
right by us and jumped into one of 2 white vans that were waiting with their engines running. Tour Manager Guy said the rest of the band members were already inside the vans and they were heading off to the airport. I was still starstruck as Tour Manager Guy walked us through the whirlwind that was the crew packing up the stage and equipment. We exited through that same backdoor.
    I hope they all could sense my heartfelt gratitude for such an experience for I was at a loss for words. This was not a dream, baby, dream. As we walked away from the arena, I couldn't help but glance back for another look and smile at the China Wok.

   Yeah, it would have been a cool ending to say I had met Springsteen & Co. But what a night anywhoo!!

Thanks for singing my all-time favorite song ever,
Back in your Arms
*Thank you to Tommy R, Jerry F, & Marc D  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dawn of the, like, Dead (at the Mall)

 I finally got around to completing a much dreaded task..... going to "The Mall" to exchange a Christmas present ( it's April!) ( it was a sweater dress!) from a well-intentioned relative. I love fashion but I hate to leave my house to shop. I'm more of a click 'n ship kinda gal.
    So, on a random weekday morning, I entered the mall... yellow, plastic bag in hand. Within minutes, I stopped dead in my tracks......did the apocalypse go down and I didn't get the memo? I looked around me and realized the main occupiers of the almost 100,000 square feet of indoor, climate controlled, retail space were mannequins and senior citizens getting their walk on. I could only spot a handful of other shoppers and a skeleton crew of store employees.....either way, we were way out numbered.
    While standing there pondering a potential blog idea, a small army of elders nearly mowed me down! Man, they were power walking with a purpose and with a major 'tude...... "Move out of the way, honey!" "Watch where your standing!" What? Why? Is the Grim Reaper cape hunting at +Macy's?

     Gosh, I just wanted to get to the other side of the mall and exchange the sweater dress. But with these chronologically-challenged mall rats circling the area like zombies on Adderall, I knew it wouldn't be easy. All of a sudden, a chill ran up my spine...a creepy feeling that someone was right behind me .... I spun around to find 6 mannequins staring at me! Oh, the horror! Had they just witnessed me being scolded by Gramps and were now snickering with each other about it? I know, I know...  they don't have eyes or mouths or any facial features (or anything else that makes them human ). But there they were.... while striking a fierce pose...making fun of me.....a clique of plastic, mean girls...... Meaniequins.
     I was so embarrassed. I had to get away from them. I tried the power walking thing....drafting behind a couple of grays for awhile.....but I couldn't keep up with them. I soon realized that I couldn't escape all of the storefronts and all of their mannequins, too. It was obvious from their faceless faces and earless heads that they had heard the gossip and that all of the Plastics thought that I was a loser.
    They were right. I don't fit in at the mall. Even the manager at +Forever 21  reprimanded me because I didn't know the return policy. I could never survive shopping here. I'm safer behind a keyboard.
     After I left +Forever 21 , I stood there..... yellow, plastic bag in hand...... pondering a possible screenplay idea of a zombie/mean girls/mannequin mash up...until I was jarred back to reality by a chorus of surly seniors telling me to move along.

 Zombie mannequins casting call.....

   Dawn of the Dead (original, of course), George Romero (fellow CMU grad!) 1978
  Mean Girls, 2004 #10thAnniversary

Happy anniversary!

+Bravo +Andy Cohen +The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon +Tina Fey +Mean Girls 2004 Full Movie HD