Let’s Pretend Ladies

In the last couple months, I’ve seen a troubling trend in my female relationships.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a cat fight thing.  I adore these ladies.  They’re beautiful, smart, driven, hilarious women.  Even with these wonderful qualities, there’s been a consistent and troubling message underlying our numerous conversations, chats, and texts.  They’re settling for something less than they deserve.

Although I’m channeling this topic from four women in particular, it doesn’t mean the same insecurities don’t affect married women or men.  However, each of my lovely friends have voiced they worry they will not find a successful relationship.  To help with the despair, they have put up with:

  • Dating a man who refuses to give his last name.
  • Communicating with an adverb abusing sexter.
  • Taking back a straight up liar.
  • Accepting being forever a “fuck buddy.”

These situations are all unacceptable to me.  Don’t get me wrong.  If they were satisfied with these things, I would be cheering them on.  Remember, I’m the chick who still wants the business where male hookers look like your favorite celebrities called Dopplebangers.  (Oh, how I love that name.)

The reason I find the above things the absolute worst is because these situations are connected with statements like:

  • There’s nobody better.
  • I worry I’ll be alone forever.
  • I’m incapable of love.
  • I must not be good enough.

Kills me to write those words when I’m thinking about these amazing women.  But we all do it, don’t we?  Tell ourselves we’re nothing special.  Resign ourselves to accepting what “is” instead of changing it to what we want.  Apologizing for being ourselves because someone else might not like it.  Hell, I recently did it when meeting a band.  How many times have you read my posts about insecurity and self-doubt.  That’s the beast at the core of this problem.  So how do we fight it?

“How about you pretend you’re a different person?” I said.  “You know, one who is oozing with confidence and takes the world by storm?”

“I’m not a good liar,” she said.

“You’re not lying.  That’s really who you are.”

I think this is where she stopped listening.

I’ve thought about this for several days; pondering my gal pals regular response of “you don’t understand.”  I disagree.  When you approach anyone for a relationship, romantic or not, you’re putting yourself out there.  They don’t know that first moment you’re speaking to them if you’re about to ask them out or to pass the salt.  In that moment, we all face the same fear of rejection.

So what am I going to do about it?  Pep talks only go so far.  I need to take more action!  I’m challenging myself for one of my 2016 resolutions to “pretend to be confident.”  I will put myself out there to tackle some of the toughest challenges my lady friends face.  I’m going to try things which will be very uncomfortable, such as:

  • Not assuming the worst.
  • Keeping eye contact even when I feel inferior.
  • Approaching strangers to start a dialogue.
  • Believing I’m worth the time.

Then I’m going to write about it.  Maybe even ask the other person what they thought about it.  I’m going to tell you how each challenge goes and hopefully inspire you to channel your inner confidence.  I’ll even go one step farther and if there’s something you want me to try on your behalf, I will.  It may take me a while to work up the courage, but I’ll get it done and get back to you.

Is this easy?  Hell no.  I’m scared shitless.  I’ve tried to talk myself out of it twenty times already because I’m not really sure I can do it.  My paranoid mind “awfulizes” the most innocent situations and turns them into “Oh my God, why didn’t I do it better?” memories.  This is going to be fucking crazy.

Even though this is a 2016 resolution, I’m starting the challenge today.  I thought about waiting the additional month and a half to give myself more time to back out.  But my lady friends need to start changing something immediately.  Because they are beautiful, smart, driven, hilarious women.  And they need to start believing it now.


I’m using this picture because all blogs should have a picture. This is an example of the hundred Snap Chat attempts I made today. (Of course, with people making fun of me the entire time.)  I lost this photo and now just found it on my phone. Also…my Snaps are blurry on a regular basis.


We have finally reached the end in this crazy month devoted to Dreamers and I’ve run out of pun titles.  Damn, it’s been fun, don’t you think?  Before I announce the winners (yes, I said winners), I’d like to give some thank you shout outs.

To Dreamers:

I CANNOT thank you enough for how kind, funny, generous, amazing, thoughtful, encouraging, awesome, adorable, incredible, and special you have been.  The list really could have gone on forever but you really shouldn’t have that many adjectives in a sentence, even though you deserve it.  Not only have you read the blogs, you’ve appreciated them.  Can you hear my swoony teenage girl sigh?  Also, you have favorited (now liked–not sure how I feel about the Twitter heart yet), retweeted, and responded to the gazillion tweets from me.  For that alone, you deserve a prize.  I promise to check myself (especially on lemon drop night) and give you a break on the Twitter handle.  It’s the least I can do.  Lastly, thank you for the terrific birthday video.  It’s 22 seconds of once again proving how amazing you are.  I am forever grateful.   Forever in love.  And have a new category on the side to forever remember.  THANK YOU.  THANK YOU.  THANK YOU!

To Dreamers’ Fans:

Thank you for checking out this blog, entering the contest, and being awesome all around.  Some of you I’ve met before at Airborne shows and I’m so excited at the prospect of seeing you again at Dreamers.  Others are new and I can’t wait to see if we will meet.  I LOVE FANS!  You are what makes bands great.  It’s the reason I love concerts.  I get to hang out with a bunch of cool people who love the band as much as the music.  The energy creates a party like no other.  Thanks for bringing that love and sharing it with other people.  Here’s crossing fingers more tour dates will be added.  I see the Pacific Northwest is missing from the line up so far, but I have faith it’s coming.

To Anyone Near Me In the Last Month (this includes social media too):

Thank you for putting up with my constant excitement.  I know it can be daunting after a while when I really won’t shut the fuck up.  I’m going to go with “that’s what you love about me.” Just kidding.  I do want you to know I appreciate you.  All the time.

dreamers cookies

And now it’s time to announce the winner of the cookies, music gift card, and sleep mask!  (Randomly chosen by Random.org.)

Sunni Nordhausen

Also, I offered an additional prize to locals only if they won — a chocolate peanut butter cake.  Since a local didn’t win, I still decided to randomly select to give one of them a cake.  peanut butter2

Our second winner is:

Sara R.

Thank you to everyone who participated.  Hopefully, we’ll do this again some day.  Sunni, please send me an email (sprunty @ sprunty.com) so I can send your fabulous prize.

If you know me, you know it takes a lot of love for me to commit to cookies.  I mean, sure, I’ve done about every Airborne thing from their picks, to portraits, to instruments.  I’ve made Matt and Kim dance.  (OMG, I think Kim is the shit and they follow me on Twitter, so there’s that.)  I even had to come back and re-commit to The Limousines because I let them down the first time with a horrible cookie contribution.

Cookies come with a deep love.  Like I’ve been listening to you on repeat for six months and know-a-total-dance routine-for-every-song kind of love.  Rarely would I commit to the hours of brainstorming, baking, mixing color, and piping with only a first meeting, especially with the killer bakery schedule I’ve had lately.  But look at them:


They were so nice to pose together in the middle of the night.

I mean, sure I like their music.  That goes without saying.  I have over 3000 songs on shuffle.  Doesn’t mean I’m making cookies for all of them.  Cookies are saved for that something exceptional.  Special people who’s art inspires more art, like a blog series maybe after a long creative drought.  They have to be good people, too.  Dreamers checked everything off my list and more.  In fact, when I was telling someone about how awesome they are, she replied “They’re getting cookies, aren’t they?”  Yes.  Yes, they are.

My band cookies always stick to the same rule (and really my rule for life) — no repeats.  Each set has to be individual to the band.  They have to mean something to me.  Even more importantly, they have to mean something to the other fans out there.  Because I do love fans.  They’re the backbone to the live music experience.  It’s their energy that makes or breaks a show.  The best compliment I received was from The Airborne Toxic Event’s biggest fan, G-Man Superfan, when he wrote “I think Susan is a bigger fan of the fans than she is of the band.”  So true, G-Man.

In a mix of their space feel, Chris’ moon bass drum head, and “Wolves (You Got Me)” hit, I present my Dreamers’ cookie collection:

dreamers cookies

Do you love them?  I do.  You know you want to love them.  How can you resist?  You can’t.  Don’t deny it.  Wait…are we talking about the cookies or Dreamers?  Either way, it’s a time for action.

To help spread Dreamers love, I’m throwing a little contest.  If you enter, you have the chance to win the above cookie set, a $10 music gift card to buy their EP for a friend and you, and even win the coveted Dreamers sleep mask I bought at their show.  (Dude, I wasn’t going to give that away, but I will for you because you’re so pretty.)  This will allow you to have your own Dreamers party discussing your favorite song while chomping on cookies.

There are a few ways to enter.  (I’m going to add pictures for those of you who are stumped by all of this.)

1.) You “Like” Alt Nation’s Facebook page AND write “Please play Wolves by Dreamers on the #alt18 because they’re amazing!” under the comment section for their Alt 18 countdown for the week Oct 31st.  (I even did all the writing for you.)  This one is worth 2 entries!

alt nation like

alt 18

2.) You can “Like” their Facebook page (1 entry):

dreamers FB

3.) “Follow” them on Twitter (1 entry):

dreamers twitter

Once you’ve done it, comment on this blog or head over to my little bakery page, and tell me what you did.  If you did all three, you’ll be entered four times!!!  Contest is going to run from 10/31 – 11/6, closing at 9:00pm PST.  Winner will be randomly drawn from all entries.  Prize will only be shipped in the US.

If you still need more incentive even after reading all these blogs about how great they are, here’s a little taste of what they do.

It’s a little hard to end this Dreamers run.  They’ve been such great sports all around.  I can only console myself with the possibility of an upcoming tour.  I hope you will give them a go because they really are something special. Now go love them, win some cookies, and maybe I’ll meet you at one of the shows.

What Dreamers May Come

For the last couple weeks since I saw Dreamers in concert, it’s been Dreamers-palooza in my world.  Even when traveling back to Portland the following week for my much anticipated Twenty-One Pilots’ show, I kept comparing the experience to the week before.  Which is kinda saying something because the two couldn’t have been more opposite.  One, a small bar venue where you can touch the stage.  The other had people lining up twenty-four hours before the show, crammed against each other in the sold out Crystal Ballroom, and sixteen hundred fans singing so loud you couldn’t hear the lead singer.  (Man, I was so impressed those fans knew EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.)

In this Dreamers blog series, it’s been focused on how they impacted me from one evening.  I mean, that’s really all I had with the concert juju clouding my mind. Sure, I’d heard Wolves on Alt Nation for months and had been playing their EP on repeat leading up to the show, but I didn’t really know much else about them.  Since returning, I have scanned through YouTube videos, magazine articles, and searched for a Wiki page to get more background info on this crew.  Now, with the juju finally worked out of my system (and boy, I had to focus hard to do it) I’m able to take a clearer look to make sure this band is a long-term commitment I want to make.

There’s a funny thing that happens when you start talking about a band.  To others they become “your” band, like your reputation as a person is put on the line.  If you love a band that are total douchebags, you might need to take a little closer look at the kind of person you are.  I stand by my opinion I will never support an Orwells’ project solely because of what an asshole the singer was at Live 105’s BFD concert in June.  His behavior and disrespect for another band told the world he was more important than anyone else that day.  I hate that shit.  It’s what also drove me to purchase the album of the other band because they were so classy about it.

This band/fan coupling happens all the time with The Airborne Toxic Event. Strangers at the gas station get the “they’re my favorite band” earful when they ask about the sticker on my car.  I launch into an gush-filled explanation about their sound and charm every time someone notices my book bag with their logo.  It’s so well known around the office that I get introduced on multi-state company conference calls as “the one who likes that band, The Airborne something…”  Maybe it’s because I have so many pictures of Mikel and me on my desk that people assume he’s my husband.  I don’t correct them.  (Really, I do.  Sometimes.)  Anywho, let’s get back on track.

Since declaring my Dreamers fandom to everyone who will listen, I get videos uploaded on my Facebook wall, co-workers telling me when they hear Wolves out in the wild, and Bestie sending me a YouTube interview completed by a nine year old even though she knows I’m not a fan of children.  (All this inundation did not help with the Dreamers detox needed to gain my sensible head back.)

There’s a responsibility in suggesting music to people.  They invest their time, money, and heart into checking out something you feel passionate about.  If you just throw bands at people willy-nilly, soon you become white noise.  It’s the reason I’m pretty damn selective in the bands I choose to really get behind.  Hell, Dreamers might even have to get their own category on this dog and pony show if I keep up this obnoxious fangirling.


Why is it even important if I like them?  I like their music, right?  Recently at a small business conference, a speaker said people like to do business with people they like.  Makes sense because there’s a relationship that will grow into something potentially beneficial to both sides for a long time.  Is it fair to have the same expectations for bands?   The songwriter tells his (or her) story and the listener understands it.  The listener may even communicate back about how they share the same feelings.  And shouldn’t that be where the relationship ends?   The band made their product, the listener buys it, enjoys it, and the deal is done.  Yes, if it were only a business transaction.  But it’s not.  Music is art.  Filled with emotional investment.  And that carries so much more importance than money.

They even put flair in signing a set list. Special shout out to Chris for decorating it up right.

They even put flair in signing a set list. Special shout out to Chris for decorating it up right.

This doesn’t mean a band has to be perfect.  They can make mistakes, say something insensitive, or act like diva rock stars, at times.  In fact, I appreciate the flaws because that’s what makes every great character interesting.  The spice added to make them real. When I’m looking at who a band is, I’m talking about their core.  How do they treat others?  Are they appreciative of their fans?  What’s really inside of them?  Or at least the feeling you get when you’re in their vicinity.

What did my research discover?  Was I let down once I looked a little harder at Dreamers?  Was I as smitten without my concert rose-colored glasses juju?  I can happily say I wasn’t let down.  It was consistent with what I experienced from my concert night.  They were funny and respectful to the little girl interviewer, interesting in print articles, and hella charming in acoustic performances.  I learned Chris and Nick were originally from Seattle, Dreamers may have an album release in 2016 and they’re in serious need of a Wiki page.

In fact, I’m luckier than most because I got the privilege to see it’s genuine.  They gave each person at the show who came up to talk their own time. They were friendly and charming even when they thought no one was watching.  A true sign of what makes up a person, in my opinion.  I hope one day you will be able to share in the same experience and be able to appreciate it yourself.

For some of you, who the band is doesn’t matter.  It’s a product you buy, enjoy, and you expect nothing more.  It’s not a real investment you’re willing to make because really loving music comes with a vulnerability.  A comfort when you need it most and a deep sadness if it lets you down.  For me, music is heart.  A sanity.  A world I always turn to when I want to express happiness or if things don’t make sense.  Why would I want it filled with people I don’t like?  I want more from my favorites.  I expect more.  And with Dreamers, I have that.

Next time:  It comes to a sweet end.

The last couple blogs probably give you a pretty good feel for how the night played out.  The band and their friends were very gracious to let me join in on a great time.  Towards the end of the night when I knew I had to leave, I was so sad. Good nights like that are enchanting.  Those moments where things work out better than you could’ve imagined.  Like Cinderella at midnight and knowing the fairy tale isn’t going to chase you down in the morning.  I didn’t want the magic to disappear.  This might be the mentality that has earned me the rep “the girl who never can let a good time die.”  Hell, why would I want to?  You have read about how awesome the guys in Dreamers are, right?  Would you want to leave voluntarily?

Nelson signing my set list. Seriously, this could be the Teen Beat cover. For those of you unfamiliar, young girls would tear out the pages and post them on their walls.  I have no idea what they do nowadays with the digital.  Do they even still have Teen Beat? It doesn't matter, this is Teen Beat material for sure!

Nelson signing my set list. Seriously, this could be the Teen Beat cover. For those of you unfamiliar with Teen Beat, young girls would tear out the pages and tape them on their walls.  I have no idea what they do nowadays with the digital versions.  Do they even still have Teen Beat? It doesn’t matter, this is Teen Beat material all day long.

At 3:00 a.m., I took Uber back to my hotel, crashed across the bed, and slept hard for four hours.  I woke up with a large bruise coloring my left arm and every nail broken on my left hand.  Now, that’s a party, right?  I scrolled through all the moments frozen on my phone to recapture every amazing memory.  (See, I do have a reason for the million pictures.)  I flicked through the pages with a smile, a little laughing, and then some major cringing.

The morning after is a funny thing.  Maybe it’s the sun’s brightness, the dizzying headache, or that video where you look like you scared the hell out of Nelson (bassist) by shoving your phone in his face.  (He looks so lovely, why must I scare him?)  Whatever the cause, a smoldering insecurity starts to taint how you remember only a few hours before.  I’ve written before about how insecurity sometimes seeps into my thought process and can distort beautiful things into something ugly.  I begin to over-analyze, process to minutia, and self-critique to an unbearable degree.  Usually it’s around something I’ve created — blogs, novels, baking, etc.  I tell myself it’s for the good in personal growth.  Assess the opportunity areas to make the next version stronger and more polished.  It’s being self-aware, isn’t it?

Dissecting each moment I could remember under the “did I embarrass myself” microscope, I packed my suitcase and started the drive home.  Five hours of beating myself up for not drinking less, being more reserved, quieter, maybe even more polite.  Pretty much nothing like me.  (Except for the polite part. I like to be polite.)  What if I came off like a total crazy person?  What if Dreamers will never come back to Oregon?  Or if they do, would they walk quickly the other way if they saw me at show?  Maybe even pick up the pace to a serious run?  All irrational thoughts, a normal person would say.  I’m one fan, in one town, on one stop, on one tour.  A blurred face in a line of people before and after.  Let’s bring it back to reality, shall we?

Could I look more excited?

Could I look more excited? This picture kinda shows that I do look pretty crazy.  Thank God he’s not looking.

When I get home I’m fighting through post-concert depression.  (The usual feelz for about a week after good concert juju. You know, the haze where you play the band on repeat, gush about them to every listening ear in a three mile radius, and wish you could do it all again.)  I can already tell this one will take longer.  Their sincerity, niceness, and funny charm is like crack.  Now I want to submerge myself in everything Dreamers, which only makes the criticism louder.  Since birth it’s constantly pounded in your head — you only get one chance to make a first impression.  What if I fucked up my one chance?

Bestie regularly asks me in situations like these, “Why do you care what a stranger thinks?”  My answer comes with the same shrug, “I don’t know.  Because I fucking do.”  This time I did have an answer.  You know why?  It didn’t feel like strangers.  They were nice.  Real.  Honest.  Friendly.  No plastic smiles.  No pleasantries while looking over your shoulder for something better.  They were in the moment, talking, listening, enjoying.  These are rare things with when meeting people.  They’re the people you usually wish you could know longer than one night.  (The juju is strong with this band…you’ve been warned.  If you don’t believe me, ask Courtney   on Twitter.)  

In trying to breathe sanity into my head again, I upload some of the best photos for friends because they understand me.  They know me.  Even if I was stupid, or embarrassed myself, they’ll still love me, right?  (Well, as much as Facebook friends do.)  A message pops up within minutes from an old high school friend.  “Are you in their van?”  I explain they gave me a ride to karaoke and highlight the detail about falling out of it.  He writes, “This only happens to you.”  His statement hits me like a life-preserver.  What the fuck was I thinking?  I just had the best night ever and I hated myself for not doing it better?

I remind myself I did what most people wouldn’t have imagined doing.  There were lots of times I could’ve chickened out or told myself I wasn’t interesting enough to hang out with Dreamers.  But I really wanted to because they were fun as hell.  So I did.  Every day I tell people they can be anything.  Do anything they want.  I share my desire to be an author and the extremely difficult road toward traditional publishing.  I remind them not to put one dream on hold while following another. I’m building a bakery biz and doing a weekly radio show because I wanted to bring decent music to my little town.  All this while working my “real job” to support my expensive concert habit.  Is it hard?  Yep.  Uncomfortable to sacrifice other things I love?  Shit yeah.  Worth every minute to leave no fantasy left behind?  Not a doubt in my mind.

That’s the thing.  If I were better about keeping insecurity at bay, when I wake up from nights like this, I would say “Hell yeah, last night was fun.  Wouldn’t change a thing.”  I may even follow it up with, “and if they didn’t like me, that’s their problem.” Okay now, who are we kidding, I never say this.  Certainly not to this band.  Have you been paying attention at all about how much I <heart> them?

The funniest part is Dreamers never made me feel like this.  As I’ve gushed about how awesome they were in these past blogs, they were welcoming, friendly, and still continue to answer tweets with lightening speed.  As part of my Dreamers research, I visited their site and read their manifesto.  Do I think it’s just happenstance they write “we believe nothing is impossible” when I’m questioning if I brought anything interesting to the night?  I know there are no coincidences, only twists in a story line.

So, are you drowning or swimming?  It doesn’t have to be about a night out with a band.  It could be anything you want.  Whatever makes you happy.  Are you telling yourself you’re worth it?  Or beating yourself down with you are never good enough?  I watch people do it every day.  The insecurity pulls them to the bottom without even the slightest fight.  They live the same life everyday and hate everyone for it.

I don’t want to be one of those people.  I want to be the one who lets herself have a killer time, experience everything, and believe I can keep up with even the most interesting people.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy.  It’s a crazy fight to push through doubt.  I battle with it all the time.  In one night, Dreamers reminded me again if I want to try new things, live to the fullest, and do the impossible, I’m going to have to dive in completely.  No matter what the risk the next morning.

This is just because I wanted to put another picture in of us together.

This is just because I wanted to put another picture in of us together.

Dreamers and Nightmares

In my epic night where I got to hang out with the fellas from Dreamers, I also embarrassed myself to no end.  I’ve had nights like that before where I made poor decisions with The Airborne Toxic Event, but I had my girlfriends backing me up.  On my Dreamers’ night, I only brought my liquid bestie, Lemon Drop, to the party.  Alcohol is a fickle bitch.  One minute she gives you the courage to put yourself out there, the next she’s ripping away your dignity.  Unfortunately, I made some major fails.  I am here to share my shame in hopes when you have the chance to hang out with a group of handsome band gentleman, you will avoid such travesties.

Nick even put up with endless selfies.

I didn’t put on the list the endless pictures I made them all take. Nick even put up with a stream of selfies with different facial expressions because I seriously took like 15. And yes, he’s that adorable.

Fail #1 — Locked Doors

I started mildly lame by being plain dumb.  After a forceful rejection at New Politics when I pulled on a locked door where security yelled at me to leave, I came back to catch the end of Civil Twilight.  I walked up to the door, pulled, and faced another locked opportunity.  Defeated, I walked to the bar where Chris (Dreamers drummer) was ordering dinner.

“It’s over?” I said.

“No, they’re still playing,” he said.

This is where I had the chance to save face, but I went barreling forward with my ignorance.  If I had stopped to hear the music pouring through the walls I could’ve figured out they wouldn’t have locked the one entrance.  Hello, fire hazard.

“No, the door’s locked,” I said.

He walked me over and we both watched as I pulled again to no movement.  Then the light bulb clicked on and I gave pushing a go.  Door opened with ease.  Chris doesn’t say anything but gives a sideways smirk and walked back to the bar.  Mortified — 1. Cool and sophisticated — 0.

Fail #2 — Gracefulness

This fail shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me.  I am the same person who walked off a curb and destroyed my ankle a decade ago.  And that was stone-cold sober.  Mix in alcohol, very little sleep from the previous days, and I should’ve seen this coming before the night even started.

Nick (Dreamers guitarist/lead singer) and I threw back a tequila shot before heading towards their van.  They nicely agreed (or maybe I invited myself) to let me join their karaoke night.  They were driving over and said I could tag along.  They all jump in with their long legs and spry selves.  I knew when I threw my leg up it was going to be a stretch. I pressed forward with my booze soaked thoughts and wobbly head. Another poor choice.  For a moment I was up.  My hands clawed for something to grab on to.  Kinda like this:

The cat and I shared that same “Oh fuck, what have I done?” look the moment I realized  I wasn’t going to make it into a seat.  When I knew balance wasn’t going to give me the help I needed, I let go and fell in all its glory.  The end result was flat backed on the street and praying I’d become invisible on the way down.  I had an audience of four (if you don’t include the bar behind me with windows along the front wall.)  It was the band and their tour manager.  If you at all think you’re going to be able to keep your cool cred after something like that, you’re a fucking idiot.  Then the pity comes out from the very nice gentlemen who gasped and offered to help me up immediately.  This only makes being a fool even worse because you can’t pretend like it never happened.

They were champs about it.  I told them (maybe whimpered) not to ask how I was or help me up.  Instead, I begged them to pretend it never happened. They put on sincere faces and said “what fall?”  For this (and many other things), I will love them forever.  Haven’t you kinda fallen in love with them now, too?

When I have told this story to people, they try to tell me it wasn’t that embarrassing to fall.  The consensus has been if I didn’t puke, piss, or shit myself in front of them, I came out looking pretty good.  What is wrong with you people?  Remind me never to concert with you. (Except you Jamie, aka the one who never takes anything less than a gorgeous selfie, our fun at TATE in SF should be repeated.)

Fail #3 — My Mouth

Once I did get into the van, the boys were charming, witty, and completely adorable.  Me?  Loud, obnoxious, and I think there was snort laughter.  Chris (drummer) pulled out a guitar and Nick (guitarist/singer) made up a song on the spot.  Pretty fucking cool, right?  Uh, note to past self if I could go back in a time machine — be quiet.  Enjoy it. You don’t have to try to participate by talking when you don’t have all your brain cells.  But I did.  Poor Nelson and the tour manager weren’t safe in the front seat either.  I leaned over, shined my camera’s flash about 3 inches from their faces, and told them they have to join in.  Nelson graciously smiled and adds some melody. Manager kept driving and told me it’s okay when I said I must be blinding him.  The worst (and coolest) part, it’s on video.  A video that will never be seen by anyone even though I wish I could because if you weren’t in love with them before, you would fall hook, line, and sinker after seeing it.

You may be thinking it couldn’t have been that bad.  Well, there was that part where I said Dead Weather had Jack Black in it.  The song then morphed into how Jack Black is kinda like Jack White, but not really.  Ugh…a music fail to top it off.  You might be thinking in the end I’m going to be the bigger person and show this video because I’m the only one who looks like an idiot in it.  Uh, nope.  Maybe if you catch me on a good night, where I’m kinda lit, and rockin’ some pretty awesome hair, you might have a chance.  (Even Bestie hasn’t seen it.)


Proof I made it into the van. Also, my girlfriends have been swooning all over these boys since I came home. I think they’ll all join me for the next show.

Fail #4 — Ignoring All the Signs

I waited for someone to be brave and ask “Who the hell is this chick again?  And why is she here?”  I was having the best time so I prayed no one got the courage.  Sitting off to the side of the bar was the tour manager working on something.  I headed over to make sure he was having a good time, too.  Because I do turn myself into the fun police in events like this. I want everyone as happy as me.  I’d been calling the tour manager Sober all night, and if that isn’t obnoxious enough, I proceeded to bug him while he worked on crossword puzzles.  Again, I could’ve picked up on the clues he was doing a one person only task which is the universal sign for “leave me alone.”  He too was super nice and stopped his puzzle to chat.  I take a moment to tell him we should be best friends.  Of course when he doesn’t jump at the chance, I try to convince him I’d make the best BFF and we could call Bestie right then to prove it. I’m sure she would’ve loved the 2am wake up call.

Later, we talk again (shocking he didn’t run away) and I ask him to tell me his backstory.  Oh, how I love to learn about different people.  I could question each and every one of them all day about details they take for granted and I find incredibly interesting.  Maybe they’ll let me sometime? Anyways, I think I’m going for funny when a mild concert Tourette’s comes out and my joke ends with Sober saying “Are you calling me an inbred?”  Oy.  Definitely not what I was going for.  Sorry, Sober.  I would put a picture where he’s trying to get away from me, but I’ll respect his “no pictures” policy.  (Even with that policy, he was too nice to say no when I insisted he take one with me.)

While most people might hide from their embarrassing moments, or even admit this might be rock bottom, I proudly wear them on my sleeve.  The whole night was amazing, inspiring, wonderfully magical.  I kept telling Nick how I hope they always remember people are changed after they leave their show.  Maybe they’re in love with live music more than they thought they could be.  Maybe they’re inspired to create their own art.  Maybe they’re rejuvenated to take more risks and meet new people.  Or maybe they’re forever happy and grateful to be included in one amazing night, fails and all.

Next time: The Morning After.

If you would like to share your famous concert fails, I would love to hear them.  Go ahead and leave them in the comments.

Dreamers for One

I want to talk about my amazing and sometimes humiliating Dreamers’ concert experience.  The problem is there was just WAY TOO MUCH for one blog, both the fantastic and mortifying.  (I wish there weren’t the uncool parts, but there are because I’m like that. UGH.  Gotta share it to keep things realz here on the blog.)  Each title will keep my love for puns by using their name.  Sometimes it might be a stretch.  Don’t judge.

Let’s start off with a surprising fact — I went alone.

It might be hard to believe, but I rarely go to rock shows by myself.  Usually I muster up a gal pal to drag along so my extroverted self doesn’t have to start a party from zero when creating “the more the merrier.”  Recently, I was faced with a Monday night show in Portland.  Not only does this involve the cost to travel the five hours, you have to commit to taking two days off of work.  The girls are knee deep in their own projects, so I decided to do this one solo.

There’s something awkward showing up to a party by yourself where you know NO ONE.  It’s like when you need a table in a restaurant and the hostess emphasizes “only one?” at a volume rivaling Nigel’s eleven from Spinal Tap.  (Wow, that joke took a while to get there, but totally paid off with the Spinal Tap reference, don’t you think?)

I headed for the bar to drink some courage.  I tested my communication skills on the bartender and he was a pretty good sport.  He recommended a drink and didn’t raise an eyebrow when I wasn’t buying a second for a friend.  Through the wall, a muffled Dreamers finished up their sound check.  I did what any solo person does, I played with my phone.  I scrolled through statuses and chatted with long distance friends.  My Canadian friend Tragic Spinster told me to get off my ass and make some fucking friends.

I started with the couple standing in front of the line with me.  We made lovely chit chat and I’m sure they introduced themselves with their names, but I’d already named them Cute Couple in my head (and proceeded to call them that the rest of the night.)  I took their photo and tweeted I was the only “party of one” in line.

See...aren't they cute?

See…aren’t they cute?

The doors opened and I wandered inside trying to look like I had a purpose.  All those TATE shows have really trained me to walk straight to the front to secure my spot.  So I stood there.  Alone.  All by myself and watched the Dreamers drummer set up his gear.  Now, since I’m the only person there and I’m trying to pretend like I have a reason, words start falling out of my mouth as they usually do when I’m nervous.  I think I said something about my concert friend telling me I had to see them instead of the Griswolds.  Then my concert Tourette’s took over and I barked “You save kittens” at an unnaturally loud volume for the relatively quiet room.  Total ice breaker, right?  My desperation got the best of me.  I took a selfie with Chris in the background looking completely perplexed by what I was doing.  He was very generous and came down off stage to take a real one.


This one was much better and he wins for look at the camera when I did not.

I thanked him for the photo and asked if I could buy him a drink.  Chris was very lovely and chatted with me for a good long time until the show started.  We talked about writing and he shared he wrote this cool piece for SPIN magazine about life on the road.  I tried to convince him with all the reasons why he should write Young Adult novels about tour life.  Then he had to go.

Companionless me headed back to the front and enjoyed every moment the music rushed around.  I will mention now they put on a great show.  Friendly, funny, and a terrific sound.  All the perfect pieces to make a terrific concert.  The lead singer, Nick, even made me feel like a special snowflake by mentioning I chose their show over The Griswolds.

I couldn't take a clear picture of Chris to save my life. Trust me I tried. I took many.

I couldn’t take a clear picture of Chris to save my life.

Rockin' a Smiths shirt, too.

Rockin’ a Smiths shirt, too.

I love this picture because it looks rock and roll to me.

I love this picture because it looks rock and roll to me.

When they wrapped up, I had a setlist, a couple picks, and went to get a t-shirt.  “Cute Couple” stopped me and handed me a set list because they didn’t know I already stole one.  “We thought you might like this,” she said.  “Thanks Cute Couple, but I already grabbed one.  But you proved you really are the nicest couple.”  (It didn’t sound snarky like it does when I write it.)

The band autographed my set list and continued to be hella cool with sharing their time.  Their awesomeness made it very difficult to tear away to get to my other show.  With my Will Call ticket for New Politics calling my name, I finally hit the Uber app to call my ride.  I hoped to see them later as we discussed and jumped in the car to check out the other concert.

This is the only time of the night where I was nervous to be alone.  The way there was fine…kinda.  Uber Guy took some crazy route and it seemed like forever.  When we finally pulled up I see people walking around and my stomach sinks.  I go to the front door and it’s locked.  A security guy on the other side barks at me to leave.  “It’s already over?” I said.  He yells at me to leave again.  I call back Uber and the same weirdo shows up.

This time he’s going a completely different route.  Now I’ve been drinking pretty well the entire night and I have no idea what address I put in my phone for Uber.  Was it the bar where I saw the Dreamers show and I hoped to catch some Civil Twilight?  Was it the karaoke bar we discussed about meeting, which I may have invited myself to?  (Those details are a little hazy and I’d rather believe I was invited by their own free will.)

Me: “Where are we going?”

Driver: “I don’t know.”

Me: “No, I mean what’s the address to where you’re driving?”

Driver: “The GPS just tells me where to turn.”

Me: “But we’re getting on the freeway.  We didn’t take a freeway there.”

And that’s when I panicked.  All those jokes I make about being killed by Uber started to mock me with the irony.  I had no idea where I programmed myself to go and the driver robot will take it right off a cliff if that’s what his phone tells him to do.  I started worrying about the enormous driving bills I was racking up and then I wondered about how much it would cost me to get back.  All this and I was missing out on the coolest party with the best band.

While my mind raced about all the terrible things that could happen to a person when they are alone, the car pulled back up in front of the bar where I started.  I was back to familiar.  The place where I felt connected.  Relief.  I wasn’t so worried about not knowing anyone in the little bar.  There were nice people in there who gave me a setlist when they didn’t have to, a thoughtful drummer chatting up a fan, and a band who made me feel like my presence was important at their show.

I stood in the chilled street for a moment.  It hit me that even though I originally arrived by myself, I sure didn’t feel alone anymore.  There aren’t many bands that can make you feel that way at a show.  This is the power of Dreamers,  good music from some damn good people.

Next Time:  My Fails…You know they had to be there if you’ve ever read this blog before.


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