Monday, August 22, 2011

Ben Folds live in Birmingham....

    So this weekend was Amanda's birthday, and we had 3rd row tickets to see Ben Folds at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center in Birmingham. Ben Folds holds a special place in both of our lives. His CD was playing on our first date when I picked her up, his song played at our wedding, we named our Daughter after one his songs... So it was a no brainer when ASPAC mentioned a special meet and greet opportunity with Ben Folds. We jumped right on it, and paid the extra fee to get to meet him. The gentleman described it as an intimate meet and greet in which we would be able to have dialogue with Ben and have him sign some items, and get a personal picture with him. Our plan was to get him to autograph a picture of Gracie for her to have when she gets older.
     This will be me writing about the experience. First of all, we drove 5 1/2 hours for this concert. That is saying a lot considering gas prices and the fact that I was unemployed up until last week.We made the trip and had an extremely nice stay at Drury Inn on Grandview Parkway in Birmingham. This was honestly one of the nicest hotels we have had the experience of staying in.
    We left early so we could get in line early for the meet in greet. We were then told by an event coordinator that he didn't know if Ben would be doing personalized autographs, but they did have signed posters for us. I was thinking well, hes just covering his ass. We went and stood in line for 40 minutes, then they started herding the group down through the hallways and made clear to us there was no photography allowed. I thought this was odd. Especially considering we paid a fee for the "VIP Meet and Greet". Ben is not one to not allow photos, or to try to dissociate himself from his fans. So 50 of us were put in the first three rows of a small concert hall. Amanda and I were in the first row. We were then told that Ben would come on stage, and they would take one row at a time up to the stage to meet Ben and pause for a brief photo. Im thinking "Cool" someone will take the pictures for us, then we can get him to sign the photo of Gracie. NOPE! Instead they herded us up 20 at a time, and made us take a group photo. Ben said he felt like the Teacher in a school photo. You could tell he obviously felt awkward about the weird "meet and greet". We then proceeded to be able to shake his hand and say "Nice to meet you" before being rushed off stage and handed these very unpersonalized autographed posters.

    Dont get me wrong, It was a thrill to shake hands with Ben, and get a nice poster, but I felt completely cheated on the VIP "Meet and Greet". I put in a phone call to the ASPAC today and the guy expressed concerned, but it will be interesting to see where it leads on them taking care of us.

    On a lighter note, Ben performed an AMAZING set. He played close to 15-20 songs, and had 2 encores. He performed an acapella version of Hiro's Song, and a balladesque version of Song for the Dumped. He was very funny and charming and had a lot of dialogue with the audience. We had 3rd row tickets, so we had an amazing view.
Here are a couple of Videos for you.


Steven's Last Night in Town 


Song for the Dumped
"Surrounded/Rock This Bitch"

  He truly does put on a fantastic concert. Ill put up our "Class Picture" with him as soon as UAB uploads it to their Flickr account. Hopefully they will make a conscious effort to make things right.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Chapter...

     Well, I would be lying if I said the past 5 months haven't been difficult for everyone. Between my attitude and incessant whining, I'm surprised Amanda has let me live to talk about it. We are both enrolled in school now. Amanda is seeking her degree in Funeral Sciences, and I am seeking mine in Music Education (Choir/Vocal).
Amanda is attending ASU, and I am attending Black River Technical College. School starts next week.
     I have also finally managed to nab a job at Radio Shack. I will be working as an MIT for an undisclosed amount of time, and hopefully, eventually get my own store. Then the decision will need to made whether or not to continue my Education into Music. For now, I will work on my Associate of Arts degree, which basically means I have 2 years to decide on my major before transferring to a 4 year school. Radio Shack is a very ambitious company, and I like that. The Management so far has been fantastic. The District Manager is a no nonsense type, and very friendly, and easy to talk to. The store manager is also a great guy, and very approachable. He is the type isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and help his associates. He is constantly on the sales floor helping customers. That's more than you can say about most managers.
To Celebrate, I even had a fellow dev make me a custom Lock Ring for my Evo.

     On top of all that, Gracie decided she wanted to start walking. She went from crawling to walking in about 1 month! That's pretty damn quick. I would love to post a video, but Cyberlink Power director is being a nuisance right now. I'm just going to have to post it sideways unfortunately.
You get the idea....

     I get to go on a trip Wednesday to Memphis with a fellow MIT from Radio that is a recent graduate and is getting her own store. I'm looking forward to getting to know one of my coworkers. That's always one of the most difficult tasks in starting a new job.

Jonathan, one of his friends Damien, and myself have decided to start going to the gym together, we are all roughly in the same shape. I could just never connect with the people over at Fitness Boot Camp, so we are going to try a different approach. We will be doing video blogs with weekly weigh ins and myfitnesspal food diaries. I'm thinking with me being on my feet again in a retail environment it should be good for me. At least much better than sitting on my fat ass playing Halo.

I will start uploading videos again when I get my new PC in a couple of weeks. So stay Tuned. I will also be making Jonathan and possibly Damien Admins on blog so they can help out on the weight loss blogging.

We still have to work out the details.

Thanks to all my faithful readers, and sorry for the MIA's here lately on the blog. Things will get back into rhythm  soon.