Monday, July 21, 2008

Doin a Little East Coast Song!

One of the first cds I ever owned was "II" by Boyz II Men. I LOVED that album (I still have it actually) and I loved Boyz II Men. So imagine my excitement when I found out that the original (minus one) Boyz II Men would be performing a concert at Six Flags. One ticket into the park would get you into this show plus all the rollercoasters you could stand. I was in!!!

Definitely it fulfilled all my junior high dreams. I loved this concert. SO. MUCH. 

Saturday was the hottest day of the decade. Ask anyone and they will tell you I'm not exaggerating.  We stood dripping in the sun, waiting to get into the theater, a little disappointed because we were running late and word on the street was they had already played Motown Phillly. But as soon as we got inside I realized that this concert was not going to disappoint. They did an energetic Motown mix before taking us on a Boyz II Men rewind with all of the classics: I'll Make Love to You,  Water Runs Dry, End of the Road...just to name a few. I was loving every minute. 

So, their choreography is a little cheesy and they were singing to recorded tracks which definitely brought them back to their original decade, but seriously? I don't know why they aren't still popular. They sounded so good and put on a very entertaining show. 

And, to make the night even more fulfilling, they finished the show out with another round of Motown Philly  so we got to hear it after all and you better believe it never skipped a beat, na!

I took a lot of videos at the show, but unfortunately the sound quality decreased with each video, and the only reason I can think of is because I was running out of memory. But I'll post a couple anyway just so you can see. The first one is part of the Motown mix - please enjoy the dancing!! The second one is I'll Make Love to You. It's a little shaky because I was trying to zoom in too close and also because there was a woman in front of me who kept waving her hand in front of my camera, but you'll be able to see them wooing the crowds with their roses. And yes, that's me that says, "I am so in love right now."

It's true! 

Friday, July 11, 2008

And With a Little Luck

Last year I got to see Brad Paisley in concert for the first time. It was extremely spontaneous and a little miraculous that it fell into place just so.

It was Friday morning and I had a flight scheduled to fly home to Ohio that evening after work, around 8:30 pm. My sister Amy called me at work and said she had a great idea but that I would need to be a little flexible. Brad Paisley was performing at Blossom that night and they were having last minute deals on a 4 pack of tickets. 

"So, if you leave right now, we can all make it to the concert in time," she told me.

I'm not sure why I didn't tell her that was a crazy idea, probably because I do love Brad Paisley. Instead I said, "Let me see what I can do and I'll call you back."

Within 10 minutes I had called the airline and switched my flight to leave earlier at no charge (I love Southwest) and convinced my boss to let me leave the office basically right then. I grabbed my bags, headed to BWI, had no flight problems and was in Cleveland by 6. My other sister Nikki was waiting to pick me up and we headed straight to blossom. I changed from my work clothes in the back of her van and we were smooth sailing. We did hit a little traffic, causing us to miss Taylor Swift's performance, but we were ready when Brad came out playing his paisley guitar. It was a really fun concert!

Amy, Nikki and me at the concert 

I'm thinking about this because tomorrow night I get to go see Brad Paisley again, although I've had my ticket for at least 3 months. Even though it won't be spontaneous, it is going to be super fun. Chuck Wicks - my new found love - is opening, along with country's newest singer Jewel??? I don't know about that one. I will be sure to post pictures of our smokin' outfits. Really, I can't wait!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

There Ain't No Doubt, I Love this Land

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Really really it is!

I can't think of a better place to spend it than here in our nation's capitol, and this is the 3rd year in a row that I've had that privilege. It is grand.

I started my All American week off on Monday by attending an Oriole's game. It's been my goal to get to Camden Yards since I've been in the DC area and I finally made it! It helps that I now have friends in Baltimore. The Stadium actually reminds me a lot of "The Jake" and yes I know that it is now called Progressive Field, but really? Who is going to call it that? Jacobs Field is a much better name and that's how it will remain to me. Unfortunately, the Oriole's lost, to the Royals no less. They were one strike away from winning the whole thing, but in that pitch the Royals hit a home run and tied up the game. Two extra innings later, their momentum was gone and the Royals walked away with the win. I remember in one of my marketing classes talking about sporting events. We were told that the goal of the stadium is to make sure that the fans have fun, so even if the home team loses, they walk away with a good memory. Well, it would have been a much better memory if I would have got on the "Kiss Cam" but for the most part, Camden Yards succeeded and I had a great time.

Tuesday I had the chance to see the show 'Mamma Mia.' Some could argue that a show written by a British playwright featuring music from a Swedish pop group is not necessarily All American, but we did see it at the National Theater so I'm counting it. I met up with friends where we grabbed a bite from the Corner Bakery. I had the Chicken Poblano on sourdough - chicken, jicama, avacado, touch of lime - mmm, I'm still thinking about its tastiness. The show was incredibly fun. Sophie, the main character had a beautiful voice, and the music kept me dancing in my seat. It definitely made me excited to see the movie which will be coming to theaters near you very shortly.

Before the show

After 2 late nights during the work week, I decided Wednesday was a good day to follow in another All American tradition: being completely lazy. I got home from work, slipped into something more comfortable and turned on a movie Hitch. I have a serious crush on Kevin James

Thursday was a beautiful night. The weather cooperated perfectly so that we could attend the dress rehearsal for "A Capitol Fourth." They have a great show every year on the Capitol and I've learned it's MUCH less crowded to attend the dress rehearsal on the 3rd. It definitely put me in the patriotic spirit with cannons, rousing music by the National Symphony Orchestra and appearances from members of the U.S. Olympic teams. Huey Lewis and the News, Taylor Hicks and Jerry Lee Lewis were a few of the other main performers. Seeing Jerry Lee Lewis perform 'Great Balls of Fire' was absolutely legendary. And pizza from UNO at Union Station topped the night off perfectly. There is one thing I really wish would happen at 4th of July events, which is this: for the emcee to ask everyone to join in singing America, the Beautiful or better yet God Bless the USA! The symphony could accompany and the singing would fill the whole national mall. It would be incredible. I wonder why logistically we don't do that?

With friends at the Capitol

Imagine if all these people were singing...

The actual 4th was a long and wonderful day. It started with the annual breakfast at our bishop's home, complete with pancakes, watermelon and 60 pounds of bacon (no joke!). There is always a lot going on - tennis, swimming, a few softball games and soccer. This year there was even some boccie ball. I got to spend time with some great friends. I went home to slip into something a bit more patriotic before heading downtown for the fireworks. Not long into our walk from the metro to the Jefferson memorial, it started to pour. Thankfully, P had an extra poncho which kept me relatively dry. We met up with some friends at the Jefferson and morale was still high despite the weather. The rain stopped in time for the fireworks show, which was awesome. Fireworks significantly enhance an already amazing holiday. It was really fun. There is another thing that I hope for at the end of all firework shows and that is this: for fireworks to spell out God Bless America! or Happy 4th of July! in the sky at the very end of the show. It's never happened yet, but someday maybe it will. Probably the same year we all sing together at Independence day events.

Independance day beauties!

P was saluting b/c we look like the American flag - minus the stars!

It was a little wet!

I have tall friends, some who suggest that the poncho made me look like a smurf (accuser is not pictured).

We walked from the Jefferson to a friends house in was a trek and really I lost track of how much time we were walking, but I'm sure the blisters on my feet remember. There was a rooftop party of which we caught the tail end. We took the metro home and as we were all starving made a late night Wendy's run, finishing off my All American week with an All-American Classic single with cheese.

Happy Fourth of July!