Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Finale: NKOTB Concert Recap

If you need to reread Part 1 and Part 2 click here and here.  I'll wait. 

OK, so we left off when we had died and gone to NKOTB heaven. 
Saint Jordan met us at the pearly gates. 

Saint Joey was there too. 
I took 685 pictures from when we left Des Moines to post concert.  Of the 685, probably about 635 of them were taken at the concert.  Whaaaaaat?!?  That's not THAT many!  However, upon reviewing the pictures when we returned to our hotel room that night we discovered that approximately only 65 of them were NOT blurry.  Listen, it's hard to capture the moment when you're trying to dance, scream, and keep from hyperventilating for 2 + hours.  Not to mention the shaky hand syndrome because the adrenaline, it was a-flowing.  The best pictures I took were of BSB (Backstreet Boys, I'm only gonna say it once), I think that explains a lot. 
This is to prove that there are A LOT of other ladies out there  Well, clearly, not as awesome but still like us in our longstanding devotion and affection for NKOTB.

They PACKED the United Center in Chicago.  The Oprah Farewell Shows didn't even do that.  Or maybe they did, I quit watching once they started planting trees "in the name of Oprah" all over the country, because BO-RING.  But I doubt it. 
 This was a single man's mecca. 

And then just when our hearts were getting used to their new faster pace, the New Kids split up and WENT INTO THE CROWD!  OUR SECTION!  But as luck would have it we got Danny.

He's great and all but let's be honest, he's no Donnie or Jordan.  Not to mention I've always kinda thought he looked like a monkey.  Although he does have very nice arms.  See it?!?  That's DANNY WOOD'S MUSCLY ARM!   The Lord works in mysterious ways and I have no doubt it was he who sent Danny rather than Donnie or Jordan to our section.  You know, so I wouldn't end up at the TOP OF THE BAPTIST PRAYER CHAIN. 

This is a strangely in-focus picture...of Backstreet Boys.  And you thought I was kidding.  I took this picture because of their gold and black ensembles.  Because...GO HAWKS!  Who knew BSB were Hawkeye fans?  We liked them more and more. 
This is Jordan Knight trying to find me, obviously. 

The concert was spectacular, just spectacular.  We were trying to explain to people just what it's like but the thing is, we can't.  It really is one of those things that you just have to be there to fully appreciate and understand the awesomeness.  Next time we go, our friend Dougie D says he wants to go solely to videotape and photo document US watching the concert.  I assure you that's a show in and of itself and would likely be the next Youtube sensation. 
At the end of the concert, both bands took the stage.

That right there is a lot of boy band awesomeness in one place.  My ears are still ringing from the decibel of the screams from Annette, Robbin and I the crowd, because this is when NKOTB and BSB fans united and raised their voices together in harmony to show their love for their boy band of choice.  It was a beautiful moment. 
And then the moment that we had all been dreading the entire concert...the end. 

See that?  It's little pieces of our heart breaking.  

The concert ended and the whole stadium cried.  Then the 3 of us, made a beeline for outside to scope out the bus situation.  We may be happily married and in our 30's and 40's but are you ever too old for bus stalking?  I think not.  We weren't the only ones with that idea.  Unfortunately, the buses were in a fenced in pit area beneath the venue so you couldn't get close to them without oh, I don't know, jumping 30 feet to your death.  And given our already fragile states we decided not to risk it.  A sign of true maturity.  We did notice however the vast amount of ladies outside smoking.  Remember, how I told you way back when how even I who hates the smell of smoke and does not smoke, needed a cigarette after seeing NKOTB perform?  Apparently, I'm not the only one.  Except that these ladies actually did light one up so the bus viewing area was about as smoky as a bowling alley on Friday night in 1983.  Gross but I completely understand. 
After giving up our dreams of meeting the guys and riding off into the sunset on their tour buses, we headed towards the main street in front of the venue to hail a cab.  Except that there were no cabs.  And as much as I tried to hail police cars (accidentally) they didn't stop!  20,000 women at a concert and not a cab to be found.  If you're familiar with the Chicago area you know that the United Center is not in the best of areas.  But not to worry I was armed with pepper spray and I wasn't afraid to use it.  I was the protector of the group because Robbin and Annette had left theirs at the hotel.  It was a responsibility I took very seriously.  We walked around, nearly got in a fight with a girl because we were on "her corner".  The corner she'd been waiting on for 30 minutes trying to catch a cab.  We let it go because really if she'd been there 30 minutes and was still standing there, it was obviously working out really well for her.  We walked and walked and walked, in our cute concert shoes mind you, and got hassled by a couple of guys but then I think they saw y mean face and pepper spray in hand and were wise enough to back off.  I mean wouldn't you?

Finally, in a move fueled by desperation, an hour and a half of walking around the 'hood, and really sore feet, we hopped on a city bus.  We really had no idea where it was going but figured it would at least get us closer to our hotel.  Have you ever taken Chicago public transportation at 12:30 a.m. on a Friday night?  You totally should!  It actually wasn't that scary because the majority of the bus patrons were women from the concert who had also been walking around aimlessly looking for a cab since the concert ended.  We took the bus to Michigan Ave where we walked along until we saw a police car cab to catch.  We only had to deal with one drunk idiot on that walk and he was harmless and tiny.  We could've taken him even without the use of pepper spray.  We finally caught a cab and when we asked him where was still open so we could get some food, he responded with "my house."  We politely declined and had him take us back to our hotel instead.  Originally, when we planned our Chicago trip we were going to have dinner after the concert at the John Hancock building in the restaurant with the view of the city. But instead we had this...
Chicago's finest at the Rock N Roll McDonald's right across from our hotel, because we're sophisticated like that.  And let me tell you something, after not eating for 10 hours, attending a NKOTBSB concert, walking around the hood for nearly 2 hours in not made for walkin' shoes, and a city bus ride, nothing has ever tasted so good.  

There was an after party featuring Jordan and Donnie right down the street from our hotel but we just weren't up for it after our ordeal post-concert.  A true sign of our age.  Besides, we could only handle so much awesomeness in on night.  I mean, NKOTB concert, Rock N Roll McDonald's AND an after party?!?  No way.  Instead we went back to our hotel, took off our cute shoes, bandaged our blisters, recapped the night and reviewed 685 blurry pictures.  And then Annette told me I was a good bedmate because I didn't hog the bed or covers, get too close, or try to spoon, and my life was complete.  But don't let that get out.  I have a reputation to uphold. 

It was an amazing night, even if we did wake up the next morning feeling like we'd been repeatedly hit by a Mac (unfortunately not a Joey Mac) truck and were walking with crutches while wearing slippers.  It took approximately 3 days to fully recover from our weekend.  And if recovery time is any indication, I think that means we had a pretty darn good time.

P.S.  Upon review of this post I realize that I may have overused the word or forms of the word awesome.  I make no apologies.  When it comes to NKOTB there are really only so many words to describe, well, their AWESOMENESS.  So there.  Deal with it.  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NKOTB Concert Recap: Still Loving Them Forever Part 2

So where did we leave off? Oh that's right I was running off on a tour bus with Jordan my dreams.  No seriously, IN MY DREAMS.  :)

In reality, our cab driver finally got us to the United Center, a place I had longed to go all my youth.  And then I fulfilled another lifelong dream and got my picture with a statue of Scottie Pippen. Seeing Scottie Pippen and NKOTB in the same place in the same night? That's the stuff 1990-1994 dreams were made of.

We found our seats, which thanks to Annette's decision to upgrade at the last minute, were FABULOUS. My seat was right next to a guy whose girlfriend had obviously dragged him there against his will. I refrained from asking him which New Kid was his favorite because somehow I didn't think he would find the humor in it and also, I needed to be in his good graces for when my "Hangin' Tough" dance moves incringed on his space later in the evening. We made small talk with the girls in the row in front of us who were a mix of Backstreet Boys and New Kids fans. All was going well until, one young 20something girl (a diehard BSB fan but more recently an NKOTB convert) asked us, "Every time you see New Kids in concert don't you feel like you just might have a chance with one of them?" To which Robbin wisely replied, "Not really we're all 3 happily married." And the 20something girl? She looked at us as if she'd just noticed the 3rd eyeball on each of our foreheads, as if to say, "why would you even come to a New Kids concert if you're *gasp* MARRIED?!?" We got a kick out of that. As if since we're married we're basically dead inside and oblivious to the beauty of God's creations in the form of New Kids. :)
3 clearly NOT dead married ladiesWe went to get a little Diet Coke to calm our nerves and moisten our throats in preparation of 2 hours of screaming before the concert started and when we returned this girl was performing. I don't know her name. All I know is I ALMOST wore this same outfit.
Thank goodness I changed right before we left, THAT would've been AWK-ward.

Then the real opening act came on and it was Jordin Sparks. We had no idea she was the opening act and frankly, we really didn't care we were there for 5 reasons, and 5 reasons only Danny, Donnie, Jordan, Joey, and Jonathan. And really, we felt bad for her since she was kinda at a disadvantage. I mean 20,000 women most certainly were not there to see a beautiful, amazing FEMALE singer, especially one who probably wasn't even BORN when New Kids were all the rage. She rocked it though and did a great job (for a girl) . The highlight of her performance was watching this guy..
He was GETTING DOWN all throughout her music and then she debuted her new song called "I Am WOMAN" and that he was clearly NOT a woman did not deter him in the least from belting the lyrics at the top of his lungs and dancing to the music as if his life depended on it. I think for the 4 minutes of that song he truly believed in his heart that he was WOMAN! It was touching..and hilarious, mostly hilarious.

Once Jordin and her gorgeous hair left the stage, It took an interminable amount of time for them to prepare for NKOTBSB. It was hard on our hearts. Finally, the lights went down, the buildup music started playing...and kept playing....and kept playing...and I thought our heads were going to explode because the buildup? It was ridiculous. Pretty sure they played that build up intro music, had the smoke and lights going, for approximately 32 minutes before we finally saw the shadow of NKOTBSB behind the curtain. You know those signs they have at roller coasters that say something to the effect of "If you suffer from high blood pressure, heart conditions, are pregnant or nursing, you should not ride this roller coaster?" They totally need those signs at NKOTB concerts because it has basically the same effects.

And then BAM!.... fireworks went off and I screamed. It wasn't the "ahhh it's New Kids" scream it was more of the "OMG I'VE JUST BEEN SHOT" bloodcurdling kinda scream because I was so NOT expecting that and actually felt for a moment that I'd been shot but alas I was just at a New Kids concert with my heart beating irregularly outside of my chest. Then the curtain dropped and we saw this..

and died. The end.

Just kidding, but it was touch and go for a minute or a hundred and twenty minutes.

The concert started out with both bands on stage doing a compilation of both of their hit songs. A little NKOTBSB back and forth if you will. But then they would alternate and NKOTB would do 2 or 3 songs and then go away and BSB would do 2 or 3 songs. At first we were all, "Bye bye bye Backstreet Boys we want our New Kids back out here" but then we realized that "Bye Bye Bye" belonged to a different boy band and also, it gave us a few minutes to recover from New Kids being on stage so it worked out. But by the end BSB had grown on us and while we still wished they would just go already and bring back out our New Kids we enjoyed the time they spent on the stage and weren't singing them farewell songs. Then  BSB did this..

Our emotions ran amuck ranging from jealousy to hopefulness that maybe New Kids would do the same (they didn't) to admiration of the girls chosen for keeping their cool.  I'm telling you right now that if Jordan Knight had pulled me out of the audience and had me sit on a stool while he serenaded and danced around me I wouldn't be blogging right now and I more than likely would've made a spectacle of myself before I died right there on stage.  I have no idea how these girls maintained their composure (and their morals), I applaud them.
And then our New Kids came back out and at some point Donnie ripped off his shirt to reveal a very chiseled 6 pack.  Well, at least I think, it's all a little fuzzy between picking Annette up off the floor and trying unsuccessfully to focus myself.  I powered through the pain and palpatations and somehow got this picture.  Annette's nightstand may never be the same. 

And who would I be if I withhold the awesomeness that is my NKOTB husband...Jordan Knight?  Unfortunately, Jordan kept his shirt on the whole time.   But he was magnificent nonetheless. 

Hello my (other) love
Fun fact:  Jordan Knight has brown eyes and is left handed and so is my son Blade.  Coincidence?  Hmmm......  ;)

Is this heaven?  No, it's a New Kids concert.

When BSB left the stage and NKOTB appeared looking like this amid clouds of smoke and soft music I leaned over to Annette and said reverently, "I think this is what  heaven must be like!"

Apparently, blogger cannot handle all the awesomeness in one post as it will not upload any more pictures.  I can't blame it, it is a lot to take in.  So I'll be back with, as Paul Harvey says, "the rest of the story."  Although I'd be willing to bet Paul Harvey  probably never said the words "the rest of the story" and "New Kids on the Block" in the same sentence.  But I'm a trendsetter like that.  Come back soon for more pictures and the final installment of the NKOTBSB concert recap. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Off the...well, Just HOT

Oh what's this, a post from the girl who said she'd never blog again?!?  I told you sometimes it's just a mind game with myself. Just have to tell myself I'm done and then wham bam, there's the urge to blog again!  I'm gonna keep blogging, sporadically of course, because that's how I roll.

Still working on the rest of the NKOTB recap and the vacation variety hour blog but for now I thought I'd join in with the rest of the cyber world and voice my thoughts about this heat wave we're under. Why?  Because that's thrilling blog material, that's why. As for the heat, I love it, I cherish it, I relish in long as I am either a) in air conditioning b) in a pool c) on a beach or d and probably most importantly) have a cherry dip cone accessible to me. I will take this weather over blizzard and freezing any day. Don't hate, hydrate!

OK enough boring weather talk, but I do have to share this heat related one liner GI Joe told me, "It's so hot that the butter cow has runs." Bah dah dah dum...I'll be here all week, folks.

Moving on....

You'll be relieved to know that I did not massacre my songs for Cheri's wedding on Saturday.  I don't think even if I had messed up anyone would've noticed since most of the guests were passed out from heat stroke and all.  Just kidding, it was a beautiful, emotional, outdoor ceremony that gave a new meaning to the words "glowing bride" (and everyone else).  It was short and sweet and then the real fun began.  You know it's going to be a good time when the reception time and location is posted on the gas station sign  and the blinking marquee in the middle of town, and it did not disappoint.   Small town Iowa, gotta love it.  Such a fun night. 

Consider this a catchy, witty segue from the wedding to an unrelated story...
 I was at Sam's Club today and the man in line behind me asked me if I was a dancer or a runner because I have very beautiful legs. I responded by snorting, hysterical, rolling on the floor laughter because if there are two things I'm NOT it's a dancer (NKOTB dance moves don't count) or a runner. He was surprised and said, "Really? Because they look like you work really hard at them" to which I responded with more hysterical laughter. That my friends, is the power of wearing high heels. In fact, I'm having t-shirts printed that say, "Skip the run, wear heels." It's my life's motto.
Order yours today.

In other news, all 3 kids are back under our roof again for the first time in nearly a month.  Before vacation, Dakota spent the week at my sister's in TN and then on our way home from vacation the boys were dropped off with her for their turn at Camp Hilary.  Here's what I've learned from having 1 child in the house, especially when that child is a girl, a very tomboyish girl but a girl nonetheless. 
*I only had to run the dishwasher every OTHER day instead of TWICE a day or at least daily. 
*The amount of laundry to be done decreased dramatically when the boys were absent.  So did the noise level. 
*The house and most noteably the bathrooms, seemed to stay cleaner for longer periods of time with only Dakota home.  Now I'm not saying that the boys are messy I'm just telling you what my research has shown. 
*I was not subjected to even one second of WWE Raw or Smackdown or whatever else they call those events where grown men where spandex briefs and baby oil and pounce all over one another, and it was glorious.  It was a welcome reprieve because the week before vacation when Dakota was gone and I was vastly outnumbered by boys I was subjected to excessive amounts of it.  I still haven't recovered. 
*That our life would be kinda boring with only one kid.  Our house needs the noise, the Hot Wheels in unsuspecting places, the shorts hidden in the couch (why do they feel the need to strip down to their underwear whenever the mood strikes?), to feel like home.  Remind me I said that in a day or two.  :)

Upon the boys' happy return, we picked them up from the airport (they flew home BY THEMSELVES!), and we hadn't been in the car 10 minutes when I looked back and both boys were shoeless and shirtless and I could no longer hear myself think because of the mounting volume of their voices .  You can take the boys out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy, I guess.
Blade is all about the shirtless now because as he excitedly exclaimed to me, "Mommy, LOOK I have ABS!  I got ABS in Tennessee!  I have a 2 pack now!"  And here we thought he was at his aunt and uncle's in TN spending quality time with them, who knew they had him on a STRENUOUS ab workout?  I should probably book myself a trip to see them ASAP if that's the case. 

I've made a new BFF.  It's the sweet teenage girl at the ice cream shop in the neighboring town that we frequent, since our own town only has a Tropical Sno stand, not an ice cream shop.  Every time we go there I order the same thing...a vanilla cherry dipped cone, double, triple, dip it as many times as you can, cone.  Normally, wherever I order that I may get a double dipped but the dip stopped there, no matter how much I begged and pleaded for more dips.  But someone finally took me seriously.  Enter my new BFF.  Last week when we were there she said, "Is it ok if I put it in a bowl because I've dipped it so many times it's too heavy for the cone?"  IS IT OK?!?  It's more than OK, it was the happiest ice cream cone of my life!  I literally had to chisel the ice cream out of the bowl because there was so much cherry dip.  It was a dream come true.  Tonight, when we went the same girl was working and I told her I wanted it exactly like last week because that was the BEST.CHERRY.DIP.CONE.EVER.  And she did not disappoint.  This week when she handed me my cherry dip not-a-cone, it was swimming in the cherry dip, and I nearly cried.  It was so perfect.   Finally, an ice cream barista who understands my needs, who gets me.  I hope she never goes away. 

Big day ahead tomorrow.  Gotta be up early to make the coffee, throw in a load of laundry, and WASH THE CHICKENS.  You know, the usual.  Dakota is making her 4H debut at the county fair tomorrow in the poultry show.  Showing your chickens does NOT involve leading them around a show ring on a leash but it DOES involve dunking them in buckets of soapy water and then clean water to prepare them for showing.  I'm sure that will be a sight to behold, I'll try to take pictures.  All I know is that this fair stuff has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off (pun totally intended).  We're new to this 4H thing and to the whole "showing" thing at the fair so I've made no less than 32 calls to the "Poultry Person" and/or the 4H Coordinator for our county.  I mean, I do not want to be the one getting kicked out of the county fair for not having clean enough chickens.  Wish us  cluck luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blogger ADD

As it turns out I can't focus long enough to finish the next installment of the New Kids Concert Recap because I have other very pressing issues on my mind.  Maybe once I get these out on the table I'll be able to wrap it up because I assure you, you'll want to hear how it ends.  Spoiler alert:  I ride off into the sunset on a tour bus with my favorite New Kid Jordan Knight and we pick up GI Joe along the way and my 2 husbands and I live happily ever after.  OK so maybe that's not exactly how it happened but it's a thrilling story nonetheless, or at least it is to Robbin, Annette, and I. 

But until then here are some things I really need to say in bullet points because as part of my BADD (Blogger ADD) that's all I'm capable of at the moment.

*Tonight I witnessed one of our roosters and one of our hens, shall I put this delicately?..."twitterpating."  You may find this hard to believe but this is the first time my virgin eyes have witnessed such poultry porn.  It was...disturbing.  This is where you thank me for NOT taking pictures.  You're welcome.  I felt like I was invading their privacy by being in the yard and was tempted to bring out a CD player and play them some Barry White or throw a few rose petals in the barnyard but apparently Alice the hen doesn't have very high expectations.  Aren't you glad I shared this sordid detail of my life with you?  Again, just be glad there are no pictures. 

*Over dinner I informed GI Joe that I wanted to do THIS.  He literally coughed up his steak.  Of course, I was completely kidding as I have about as much desire to ride my bike across Iowa as I do to witness more  poultry porn.  I mean, I don't even like to drive across Iowa IN AN AIR CONDITIONED CAR let alone RIDE MY BIKE. Also, you may or may not remember that the last time I took my bike out for a spin, I ended up with gravel road rash and torn yoga pants...IN MY DRIVEWAY.  So yeah, Ragbrai is not for me.  But GI Joe choking on his steak when I told him I wanted to do it?  Worth it. 

*I'm singing 2 songs in my dear friend Cheri's wedding this weekend.  I wrote about Cheri here.  And NO, she's not marrying the guy I wrote about in that blog.  Initially we were all sold on him but in the end we wanted a refund.  The guy she is marrying however, is a definite keeper which is why I haven't written about meeting him because I didn't want to jinx anything.  My blog has that kind of power you know.  Anyway, I've sang at a lot of weddings in my day but this one, THIS one is stressing me out big time.  Why?  Not because the songs are weird or wonky or anything but mainly because it's CHERI'S wedding.  Cheri, the girl who sent out an email last weekend to all vested parties titled Wedding Week Activities with a break down by day and even hour of the events/schedules/expectations of the wedding party.  She is amazingly organized and a perfectionist to boot so obviously my wedding singer performance has to be top notch.  I've been practicing in my kitchen using a banana as my microphone for hours each night.  It's a sight to see and hear I assure you.  I'm sure Carrie Underwood clocked many an hour singing with a banana on her road to stardom.  I've also come to realize that being a wedding singer might just be the highest pressure job in the entire wedding.  All eyes and ears are on you and your performance will be forever recorded in wedding history.  Wish me luck.  Excuse me, I need to throw up now. 

*Aaaand, I'm back.  Tonight at 12:01 is opening night/day of Harry Potter Deathly Hollows Part 2.  I myself, have never watched one single Harry Potter movie nor read any of the books.  The other 4 members of my family however, LOVE IT.  And guess what?  GI Joe and Dakota (the boys are at my sister's) are going to the 12:17 A.M. showing because they just couldn't wait ONE.MORE.MINUTE to see it even though Dakota has already read the book and will probably be whispering spoilers to GI Joe throughout the entire movie.  I'm fine with them going to the midnight showing, it's cute (and crazy) but I drew the line at dressing up in costume for the occasion.  Not that either of them had their hearts set on Harry Potter glasses or black robes but I just had to put it out there in case it crossed their minds.  However, when we were at my Wal Mart tonight @ 8:00 P.M....4 HOURS AND ONE MINUTE BEFORE THE FIRST SHOWING OF THE MOVIE....we saw a whole group of college aged kids all decked out in HP costumes.  Hilarious.  At first thought I just didn't get it but then I realized that if there was ever a remake of "Grease" released  I just may have to dress up like a Pink Lady and be at the 12:01 showing. Who's with me?!? 

*We returned Sunday night from our annual National LamKoons Vacation.  This year's vacation took us to TN, Stone Mountain, GA, Tampa, FL, Orlando, FL, Fort Walton Beach, FL, Mobile, AL, New Orleans, LA, the swamp of LA, and Memphis, TN.  I couldn't tell you about it ahead of time, you know for security reasons, but I will blog extensively about it in the near future.  Good times, good times.  After deleting out blurries, duplicates, and bad ones, I only have 685 pictures of the experience.  I know, I'm a disappointment to all mankind.  Hopefully, in those slim pickings I can also find some pictures to share with you.  It was a great time and as I'm home in my oceanless state I keep asking myself (and GI Joe) "why do we live in a landlocked state again?"  All I want is an oceanfront acreage where my cow and I can enjoy long walks on the beach and warm weather year round.  Is that too much to ask?!?  I think not.

Wish you I were here

*Speaking of blogging, which we weren't actually, but we are now, I feel like I'm losing my mojo.  I keep tossing the idea around of being done with the blog because lately it's felt like more of a chore than a fun release for me.  Probably because it's summer and there a million other things I feel like I need to be doing and only so many hours in the day and I may or may not have mentioned but mama needs her beauty rest so then when I neglect the blog I feel guilty and then neglect something else so I can blog and that too leaves me feeling guilty and it's just a vicious circle.  Much like that was a vicious run on sentence.  But on the other hand I really love having this to document our lives especially knowing that it makes people out there laugh and am 3000% sure that in 10 years from now it won't be the clean laundry or the weeds I pulled in the flowerbeds that I'll be glad I did, it will be the blog.  But right now?  My heart's not in it.  So here's what I'm thinking, after I post the NKOTB finale (because I couldn't bear the thought of withholding that goodness from you) and our vacation recap, I think I'm going to take a break from blogging.  This is really more of a mindgame I'm playing with myself because any other time I've said that, it's like I get my blogging mojo back instantly and I'm a blogging machine again, so let's see what happens.  This is picture sums up how I feel right now..

I appreciate you sticking with me, I mean where else are you going to read about banana singing, poultry porn, and Harry Potter all in the same blog entry?!? 

Happy Friday! 

Prairie Princess

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unfinished: NKOTB Concert Recap Part 1

Nothing like leaving you hanging for 2 weeks huh?   My apologies.  Maybe this long, overdue post(s) will make up for it.  Or maybe not, but either way it's something.

Let's start with a moment of silence, because it's been over 3 weeks since I saw New Kids on the Block in concert. 3 WEEKS?!?  I've used the time to reflect and organize my thoughts so that I can share in detail, the wondrousness of it all, with you. 

Before we begin though, I need to get something off of my chest...Marky Mark was/is NOT one of the New Kids on the Block!!!!  His brother, Donnie Wahlberg (aka Annette's other husband) IS.  Sorry, it had to be said because if ONE.MORE.PERSON asks me if Marky Mark was there I may lose my mind. 

OK, now that we've cleared that up, we can begin.

It started back in November when it was announced that New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys were teaming up to go on tour and it would be called NKOTBSB=New Kids on the Block Backstreet Boys.  I'm only typing that all out once so stay with me.  I will admit that when Annette and I first heard that Backstreet Boys were going to be with them, we were none too pleased.  We'd prefer to spend the whole 2 hours of a concert with only our New Kids, we did not welcome the distraction that BSB (Backstreet Boys..last time) and their crazy fans would bring to the show.  Backstreet Boys came out quite a few years after NKOTB had blazed the boy band trail for them.  Their fans are mostly 20 somethings who may or may not how to know act appropriately at a concert and probably wouldn't fully appreciate the awesomeness of NKOTB.  We're not judgmental at all.   But we quickly adjusted and got tickets to the June 17th show in Chicago because at that time it was the closest one too us and also?  Chicago=deep dish pizza and shopping on Michigan Ave so ummm, YES PLEASE.  This time instead of just the 2 of us, Annette's high school friend Robbin, went with us.  A little background on Robbin, she and Annette were of driving age and out of high school when NKOTB were big so instead of only living out their Step by Step dreams through a tape player and Tiger Beat posters on their ceilings, they actually followed them all over the country and saw them in concert MANY MANY times.  My heroes.  I loved listening to all the NKOTB stories the 2 of them told on our trek to Chicago.  I also loved reminding them that while they were doing all of that I was 10.  ;)  But really, I was just honored that these 2 experienced NKOTB groupies would welcome me into the fold as they did. 

Finally, after 7 months of anticipation it was here!  We let Robbin drive for a couple of reasons 1) she's very familiar with Chicago meaning she was much better suited to get us there safely 2) you've heard the stories about my leadfoot and my unfortunate run ins (literally) with the bank drive thru and 3) her little Ford Escape was much more manageable on the streets of Chicago than Annette's and I's Princess Mobiles that would take up an entire city block. 

Robbin's parents live a little more than halfway between here and Chicago so we drove to their house and spent the night on Thursday before the concert.  Having never met Robbin's parents before I wasn't sure what to expect.  I figured since Robbin was their daughter (and Robbin is awesome) that they couldn't be all bad.  I was ill prepared they were beyond awesome.  Robbin's mom was THE hostess with the mostest.  Not only were there fluffy white robes hanging on the back of the bedroom door but she had a full breakfast buffet complete with pretty china and glasses laid out for us the next morning.  Over breakfast she shared with us her love of Donnie Wahlberg's show "Blue Bloods" and asked us to ask him how he goes from acting like a cop to singing and dancing for thousands of screaming women.  She was mystified by that.  Then after breakfast she gave us all our own pepper spray and right there in the driveway, gave us a lesson on how to use them, making sure to tell us to NOT spray into the wind because then some could get in our eyes.  She was hilarious and sent us on our way with full tummies, pepper spray, and a coupon for gas at the local gas station.  Now THAT my friends is hospitality! 
Also, she had trees that looked like lollipops and that certainly didn't hurt her case any. 
I mean, have you EVER seen such a thing?  Adorable.  They are called Korean Lilac on a Strand, for you gardening types. 
We arrived in Chicago a little after noon and immediately upon pulling into our hotel's parking lot we saw this..
That's when we knew we were in the right place and in good company!
Then we did the only thing you can do in Chicago when you get there around lunchtime...we ate pizza and photographed the whole event.  Because if you don't have a picture of it, it didn't happen.  Words to live by. 

Then we walked along Michigan Ave and pretended we were the girls from "Sex in the City" except it wasn't New York City and there was no sex and we weren't wearing high heels.  But a nice man did call us Charlie's Angels so we still must've looked the part.  And I took more pictures..

No, we didn't look like tourists at all, why do you ask?  OK so maybe we did a little and maybe at one point, Annette said to me, "I understand where your kids are coming from, enough with the pictures."  Hahahaha. 

After some shopping, it was time to head back to the hotel to begin the daunting task of trying to figure out what to wear to the concert and primping.  That only took 3 hours.  I tease, it was more like 2 and we were proud of ourselves considering the sheer volume of outfits we had to try on before we each decided on our "concert clothes" or as Robbin kept calling different things that came out of her suitcase "party shirts".  Not to brag but we looked GOOD and were so ready for the concert.  Then we convinced the busboy to take our picture for us.  He was more than happy to oblige. 

But it was still to early to head to the venue so we went downstairs to the hotel restaurant and bar.  I tried to play some New Kids music on the jukebox but the bartender actually walked over to the jukebox and TURNED IT DOWN SO YOU COULDN'T HEAR IT halfway through the first song.  The nerve.  Some people are just so consumed with jealousy that they themselves are not a New Kid that they can't even bear to listen to them, the bartender was one of those sorry souls. 

Finally, it was time to head towards the United Center for the culmination of 7 months of anticipation and planning.  THE UNITED CENTER!  Sidenote:  When I was black ('92-'94) and even a little bit before I was black, I LOVED the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen in particular and one of my lifelong dreams had been to go to the United Center to see them play.  While that dream was never realized, going to the United Center to see New Kids on the Block would definitely do. 

The best way for us to get to the United Center was by cab because it was too far to walk and not worth the hassle to drive.  We left the hailing of the cab to our experienced city girl, Robbin, and sure enough she stepped up to the curb, flipped her hair,struck a pose and within seconds a cab came to a screeching halt at the curb.  Well done, Robbin, well done.  Of course I took a picture...I mean, who would I be if I didn't?

Our cabbie did not stink, understood English, and was actually kinda cute. His cuteness made up for his driving.  We held hands and prayed "hail Mary's" (and none of us are Catholic) in the backseat as he manuevered through traffic all the while chatting to us about what we were in town for and then as serious as a heart attack, he asked us if we were visiting from LA?!?  LA as in LOS ANGELES.  If he only knew that one of the girls he thought was from Los Angeles was a bonified hick who enjoyed petting her cow and throwing chickens in her spare time.

Miraculously we made it to the United Center, unscathed, and picked up our tickets at Will Call.  Why would we have tickets at the Will Call office when we bought them 7 months in advance, you might ask?  Oh did I forget to mention that Annette had looked on Thursday before we left at where our original tickets were and discovered that they were in the nosebleed section and just couldn't bear the thought of those kind of seats when seeing our New Kids, so she bought 3 more tickets in a much more suitable section, closer to the stage?  Because she did.    Like 200 sections closer to the stage. We're kind of concert snobs like that.  In the end, we had 6 tickets between the 3 of us. Sometimes in life, as the song says, you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and know when to upgrade*. (*I may have taken creative liberties with that song but I can assure you Kenny Rogers would agree.)  This was one of those times that an upgrade was necessary and well worth it, as you'll hear about shortly. 

And the concert hasn't even started yet!

To be continued....