Sunday, November 28, 2010

my friend Bradlemos

This is my friend, Brad:
(This was in 2004)

It's his birthday today. He's a quarter-century old. I've known him for six of those years. And for me that's a long time. And it makes me very happy.

Brad has been like a brother to me. And without being weird or anything, I'd like to honor his special day by recapping his life as I've known it.

1. Brad showed up on campus my Junior year. He looked like John Mayer (remember, this was during Mayer's Room For Squares phase ... when he had curly hair and eyes that didn't look like death). But Brad didn't just look like John Mayer, he sang and played guitar, too. But my girlfriends and I quickly moved past that and became Brad's friend.

Come to think of it, we befriended a lot of boys Junior year. but that's another story for another time ...

2. Soon after meeting Brad, we gave him the nickname Bradlemos. Or Bradlar.

Bradlar - to sing and lead others in praise and worship in a way that may or may not make upperclassmen jealous.

Bradlemos, of course, was the plural form of Bradlar.

3. Every Tuesday afternoon, Brad and I had what we called Brad and Amanda Quality Time Time. (Yes, 'time' was repeated) During this time of quality time, we would either sit in the Dining Commons and talk, or we would go on very crazy and fun adventures. Like once, we went to Autozone and changed the headlight in Brad's Taurus.

4. When I graduated college and had moments of hysteria at the thought of entering the real world, Brad listened to my woes. And then when he graduated a few years after and went through a similar time of craziness, I returned the favor.

5. For a few years after we were both had graduated, we even lived near each other. It wasn't planned or anything. It just happened. And looking back, I'd say it definitely was nice to have a friend nearby after college was over.

(Here is Brad, smelling Tad's neck)

Fast-forwarding to present day ... Brad and Tad are great friends. They roomed together in college and were even in each others' weddings. And I guess you could say Brad has kind of transitioned to becoming more Tad's friend than mine ... which is totally ok.

Because I'm friends with Brad's wife Bekah!

Here's the first time I met Bekah.

I even have a nickname for her.


She's not a fan and tries to call me "Mando" to get even. Maybe Brad should teach her a thing or two about accepting her nickname ... regardless of how silly.

Happy Birthday, Bradlemos!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

twas the day after black friday

and all through the house
not a thing was in order, not even a mouse.
The first round of shopping had come at midnight
when Tad and Amanda at Wal-Mart did fight
against a full army of turkey-fed peeps
for movies and games and Tupperware cheap.
They elbowed and pressed and said things they'd take back,
but nothing would stop their Black Friday attack.
Victorious, they were, their arms full of loot,
they headed back home for a brief reboot.
Four episodes later of Big bang theory,
they set out again, but this time there were three.
Their good friend LD had joined the good fight,
lining up at Best Buy at 2 o'clock at night.
With Amanda at Wal-Mart and Tad at Tar-jay,
they had their space covered ... nothing would get away!
For two hours straight, Amanda stared at her prize:
a Sony camcorder, quite small in its size.
The people around her kept growing in number.
Amanda was scared she'd soon be outnumbered.
Until one lady who had been there since twelve
said "Let's make a pact. A dirty resolve.
Let's form a blockade around this display
to ensure that all seven of us win on this day.
When 5 am hits and it's time for the brawl,
we'll cut others off, leaving us for it all!"
The alliance was made and just sure enough
the time came to go and the group got real rough.
They held off the mob as the ringleader gave
each of the seven, their rightly-due swag.
When each of the seven had filled their request,
they left but one camcorder for the mob to contest.
And Amanda joined Tad who also had won
a remote control helicopter ... despite having to run.
And LD made out like a bandit as well.
A brand new tv for a price that was swell.
And so they returned to their beds for the night,
though morning had come. It was 6, almost bright!
But I heard them exclaim, as they they drove out of sight —
Happy savings to all, and to all a good night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bret Michaels

It's really not much of a secret, so I may as well talk about it. A few Fridays ago, I went to a Bret Michaels concert. Yeah. I know.

(here I am giving my best Bret Michaels impersonation whilst wearing the bandana Courtney bought me just for the show!)

But before you get all judgy, I want it to be clear ... I had the time of my life. The night had it all: danger, romance, suspense. Even pizza. And deer.

Let me start from the beginning ...

I have this co-worker. Her name is Courtney. Courtney is my friend. And I like her very much. But she has this problem. It's called Bret Michaels.

You know how every so often, you see someone and are attracted to them but have no idea why? Like they're totally not your type, and on any given day you wouldn't give them a second thought, but it just so happens that you can't help yourself and end up swooning against your better judgment?

Well, Courtney has that with Bret Michaels. A fatal attraction, if you will. A fatal attraction that got her free tickets to a concert of his in Warsaw, Indiana.

So me, being the supporter I am of fatal attractions, excitedly agreed to go with her.

And I'm so glad I did.

Crazy Thing #1 - On the way, we hit a deer. Warsaw is about an hour outside of Fort Wayne. So, we were just chatting and relaxing when out of nowhere this deer appeared on the side of the road. I gasped. Courtney slowed. And the deer bounced off the side of the car.

And that was it. I know we were lucky (God must have wanted us to see Bret), but I couldn't help but thinking "wow, that wasn't so bad!" While Courtney kept wondering aloud if it was ok.

Crazy Thing #2 - The crowd was way less trashy that we expected. We'd prepared ourselves for tube tops, bleached hair and cleavage. We didn't really see any of that. Instead, it was one of the most diverse audiences I've ever seen. Like there were totally people in their 70s there. Right along with the many many many women in their 40s with leather, heels and teased, 80s hair.

Crazy Thing #3 - Bret's merch table sold panties.

Crazy Thing #4 - We'll be making our VH1 debut on Bret's new show Life as I Know It. Yup. There was this guy with a camera there and he kept filming the crowd as the band instructed us to wave our hands in the air for like 5 minutes at a time. Which felt like an eternity. But they told us that the footage would air during the last two episodes of the season.

Which practically makes Courtney and me stars. We should probably find agents.

Crazy Thing #5 - You could buy a pass for $200 that would let you meet him.

We didn't participate in that. Nope. We just tried to meet him the regular way ...

When it was all over, we circled the building until we found his tour bus. After Courtney got done taking four pictures with the bus, we waited beside it in the freezing cold to meet him.

Now, I'll admit. I was the crazy one here. I struck up a conversation with the cops in hopes that they'd give us some inside information (which they did ... apparently, Bret was right on the other side of the bus, doing his meet and greet) and also befriended a mom and her daughter who had just come out from the little meet & greet place (they told us that there were still about 15 people left in line for the $200 meet & greet).

After about an hour, Courtney started shaking because she was so cold.
But I yelled at her and told her to stop. We were NOT going to give up. We were so close. His band guys were all around us. And the roadies were loading up the trailer.

And then thirty minutes later, they announced that he wasn't coming out.
So that was that.

Overall, it was a great show, and I had a blast. It was a really nice change of pace. I mean the shows I go to ... usually everyone just sits around with their legs crossed and thinks.

At the Bret Michaels show, you're allowed to be crazy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

yoga schmoga

Tad: How was your first yoga class?
Me: Good. We looked into ourselves at our past lives.
Tad: What did you see?
Me: I don't know. I didn't look that deep.
Tad: I bet you were a dog. You understand them so well.
Me: Yeah, that sounds nice. I think I'll go with that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sufjan Stevens recap

I'd like to take a moment and talk about encores.

There's like this weird rush that comes over you, the fan, when an artist leaves the stage. It's like the ultimate power trip. If you're loud enough. Obnoxious enough. Worshipful enough, you can get them to come out and sing more songs.

So you do crazy things, like try to clap or chant in unison. For minutes on end. All to see if you can will them out of their comfortable dressing rooms and back under the spotlight.

But I'm convinced that encores are pre-planned. That they're just the artist's way of getting you to glorify them for however long they deem necessary. Why?

The lights.

When an artist leaves the stage, the house lights will either come on or they will stay dim. If they come on, there won't be an encore. No matter how many fist pumps and cheerleader chants you direct at the stage. If they stay low, you may as well sit back and wait for Act II.

I tested my theory at the Sufjan Stevens concert Tad and I attended last Thursday. And sure enough ... even after two hours of playing music, when Sufjan left the stage the lights stayed dim. The people then screamed for five minutes. And Sufie came back out.

That's of course not the only noteworthy thing that happened at the concert.

A world record was broken.

The largest gathering of Unique Individuals who all happened to be wearing pea coats, scarves, plastic rimmed glasses and skinny pants.

Imagine my sigh of relief, knowing that I had changed back into my black skinny pants at the last moment. Because man … there’s nothing worse than being in a group of people who like to express their individuality and realizing you don’t fit in.

But that's just me making fun of hipsters ... when I probably don't have room to talk, considering I was out until 2am just to attend a Sufjan Stevens concert.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

how to attract vampires

This is probably the lamest thing I've ever done. Or at least the lamest thing I've ever admitted to.

I'm really trying here, but I just can't seem to come up with anything I've done that's as lame as this. Not even buckling my belt on the side. (Yes, I did this. Because I heard that rock stars did it to prevent the buckle from scratching their guitar. And, well, I wanted people to think I was a rock star. The sad part was I don't even play guitar that much. And when I do, I sit. So imagine just how lame that side belt buckle thing was.)

Well this is definitely lamer.

Do you see that jacket up there in that photo? The one Bella is wearing? Well, here it is again:

That's right folks. I have the official Bella jacket. Now before you make too much fun of me, you will note that I'm not alone. My friend Bekah has it too. So that makes it ok.

And yes, I'd jump off a cliff if my friends jumped off a cliff.

(Here is our emo pose ... life is better when you throw in an emo pose)

I will say, though, that the jacket has this odd magic to it. Because when I was in the dressing room, trying it on, I felt an icy breath against my neck and I turned and for a split-second saw a curious-haired boy dissolve into the shadows.

Ok, that didn't happen, but it IS true that the first words out of my mouth after zipping the jacket up were,


Bekah can vouch for that one. She was there.

And I believe she also admitted to uttering a similar plea upon zipping up the jacket.

Except she looked at her husband when she said it.

And his name isn't Edward. It's Brad.

(Here we are, waiting for Edward to come get us. Apparently, I thought that Edward could fly.
Note the forest in the background

I must admit, though, that if this coat was just sitting on a rack and had no connection to TWILIGHT, I'd walk right by.

To see our coat in action:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Showin' Some Love for Andrew Belle

There's nothing stranger than realizing that someone you had Computer 101 with is suddenly a pop star in the making.

Ok, maybe alien abduction would be stranger. Or possibly sitting down at a table at a restaurant only to give your drink order to Barack Obama. Yes, that would definitely be stranger. But still.

You see there was this boy in my freshman class at Taylor University Fort Wayne. And his name was Drew Fortson. And he seemed nice, but I didn't really talk to him. He dated a Sophomore, so of course that made him automatically way cooler than any of us. And if I remember correctly he liked to sleep in Computer class. I know for sure that his friends did. I know because it allowed me to take the liberty to sleep as well.

He didn't strike me as the music sort. But then again, I didn't know him at all. So imagine my surprise when my friend named Kyle lets me know that this boy named Drew Fortson is actually getting semi-famous and his songs are being featured on shows like Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill and Vampire Diaries (his song was actually on last Thursday's episode).

And imagine my even greater surprise when I find that he's dropped his old name and now is going by Andrew Belle.

I swear this is one of the strangest things. But I am very happy for him. And I'm going to show my support by posting his music below and maybe some of you will be agreeable enough to purchase it.