Wednesday, July 30, 2008

For sale: Used shoes, great at concerts

My friend M and I went to the Alkaline Trio concert last night. Since I wasn't real familiar with the band (this concert was M's pick), I decided to forgo the stressful "smuggling of the camera" foray ("will they find it this time, will they find it this time, shit ... what if they find it???"), since this venue (the Roseland) does a pretty good job of searching both body and purses. And I didn't want to get blacklisted* over a band I didn't yet care about (errr, no offense, Alk! ;)).

So we get there early enough to get our choice of front row seats up in the balcony. The balcony is "U"-shaped and we like one edge which puts us near the front, really close to the stage (the stage situated across the top of the "U"). These seats also keep us from having to stand for hours packed in like sardines on the general admission floor below, which more often than not, also turns into a huge elbow throwing mosh pit (hello, NO thank you!!). So not only do we have a nice safe seat, but we also have a great view of the band AND of the craziness down below (highly entertaining to watch, don't think it isn't!).

The crowd at this point is very thin. The doors just opened and it's only a little after 6:30pm. So not many folks at all. But about 5 minutes after we sit down, two twenty something guys sit down in the seats immediately to my right (M is sitting to my left). Dudes, they stink to HIGH heaven of alcohol. AND while one guy leaves to go get them beers (sigh), the other one starts chatting us up.

And don't get me wrong, they are very nice guys. So it's not like they are obnoxious drunks or anything; they are being very polite. But they are talking to us .... continually. M and I keep making eye contact and snickering under our breaths as it is pretty funny as they just don't.shut.up! But since they seem relatively harmless, all is good. And the guy next to me (ummm, I'll call him "Chris") says that Alkaline Trio is one of his favorite bands so he is VERY excited to see them. And his buddy ("Corey") hasn't seen them before so he's jazzed too.

So anyway, the first opening band The Fashion takes the stage, so everyone stops chatting. Well, almost everyone. Because, though Chris and Corey stop talking to us, they continue to talk to each other the ENTIRE time The Fashion is on the stage. Weird. I mean, first, didn't y'all pay good money to come and listen to the bands?? And secondly, trying to talk at a concert while a band is playing is NOT an easy feat, let me tell you! You basically have to position your mouth against the other person's ear and yell directly into their ear canal. Even then, you only catch about 20% of what the other person is saying. And yet, Chris and Corey seemed to be unfazed by it at all. Kudos.

After The Fashion finish (they did a good job, btw, look for them to gain in popularity in the states soon), Chris and Corey make another alcohol run (beer and shots! - double sigh). They come back and chat a bit with us and also with new folks who just sat down behind us. They are Chatty Kathys, let me tell you!!! And at this point, the venue is starting to fill in nicely with all the latecomers.

And again, once the next opening band, American Steel, hits the stage, Chris and Corey get lost in very intense conversations between the two of them, throughout the band's entire performance. What the..??? I tried eavesdropping (what? ;)) to no avail. Darnit!!! Cuz it looked like a really interesting conversation!! :)

Okay, so finally the opening bands are done, and the stage is getting set for Alkaline Trio. It's probably about 9pm at this point. Chris has slowed down considerably (he's been pretty hyper) and is sitting with his chin leaning on his propped up hand, eyes closed. He mumbles something to Corey and Corey bolts out of his seat and heads downstairs. M and I are transfixed, wondering where Corey is going. Is he getting a barf bag? Some food to soak up the alcohol?? Medics?? A souvenir t-shirt?? What???

Anyway, while Corey is gone, Chris rouses himself enough to lean over to me (argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and mumble something. You know "The Mumble" I'm talking about? The kind which indicates the mumbler is NOT feeling well and must mumble because they don't have the energy to actually speak normally? Yeah, THAT mumble. NOT a good sign. Especially as this points his mouth in MY direction, and I have a fear that more than words will be spewing out of it shortly. And it takes like FIVE times for him to be coherent and loud enough for me to decipher that he is asking if I would like the beer he has on the balcony railing in front of him, of which he has taken only a sip. I know, right ... I told you he seemed like a nice guy. But uh no .... I give him the head shake, and hope he doesn't register the alarm I'm certain is written all over my face as I know that his evening is NOT headed in a good direction and that I will probably end up being part of it due to my very close proximity. Buggers!

He nods back off. Whew.

Corey shows back up and he has a bottle of water for his friend. Awwww. Isn't that sweet?! Unfortunately, instead of appreciating the fact that Chris seems to be comfortably sleeping this off, Corey thinks that giving his friend head noogies in an attempt to wake him will help the situation! (seriously, WTF???). Chris regains consciousness and grasps the water bottle that Corey shoves into his hands.

Two minutes later, Corey realizes that Chris has not had any of the water so opens the bottle and starts pouring some into Chris's mouth (oh, yeah ... this doesn't bode well!). I turn to M and give her the "oh shit" look. I turn back to find that Chris is leaning forward resting and Corey is looking at me over his back. I ask "so do you think he's going to get sick??" at which point Corey says "don't worry, I'm driving!". Ummm ..... okay, this isn't good. So while I'm looking at Corey in utter disbelief as he may not be three sheets to the wind, but he is certainly 2 1/2 sheets to the wind himself and definitely should not be driving, I feel M stand quickly to my left. I look up at her and see her staring in horror at Chris. I look over and realize he is vomiting onto the balcony railing right next to me. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

So I'm up! And M and I do a quick shuffle to our left to exit the row and put some distance between us and The Smell. But not before I glance down over the balcony and see folks below also looking up in horror as some of the vomit makes it way down to the floor below (shudder!). Yeah, not good.

We find seats two rows back (which puts us in the back row as there are only three rows on each side) and quickly claim those. Corey gets Chris up and tries to guide him to the walkway behind us. I'm thinking he's going to take him home, but no ... he was just moving him away from The Vomit as well and sits him in other empty seats in our row, about 5 seats down from us.


I figure I am now out of vomit range, but don't think they should still be here. Apparently the venue didn't either, as about 5 minutes later, security shows up and escorts them downstairs. Woot.

Everyone in this section is greatly amused (and kinda grossed out). As new people show up, there are stories and questions about "where were you during The Great Vomit Of '08?" flying around everywhere! And I swear there are also people snapping pictures of the vomit, which is easily visible on the wide cement balcony railing, with their Blackberries and then emailing the pics to their friends. (sigh, this is where I wish I had my camera with me. Wouldn't a pic of been a nice addition to this post??! (what? really? you think not??? Ah, come on!! :)))

About ten minutes later, Corey comes back upstairs. Everyone in the section waits with bated breath to see what he is doing back. He goes down to The Vomit, leans over, and reaches into it (ack) and pulls out ..... Chris's digital camera! Everyone "ewwwwwwwwwwwws" in disgust and Corey says, "yeah, am I a good friend or what?!" and we all break out in applause! Cuz really, that IS a good friend! What a hoot.

Anyway, the rest of the concert we spent watching folks stepping into those seats, amazed at their luck at finding such primo seats so late in the game! Yeah, until either The Smell hits them, or courteous folks nearby point out The Vomit puddle, in which case you see the confusion, the comprehension, the horror, the mad dash out of the area, quickly followed by intense scrutinizing of their shoes for any residual vomit. Hee hee ... so entertaining! (I know, I'm easily amused!)

Speaking of shoes though, I'm pretty sure I'll be burning mine. I swear my right shoe and sock felt wet with vomit during the rest of the concert even though I looked and didn't see any, and really don't think they got hit (it must have been close though). Still .... I'm no longer loving them, so we'll have to see. I'll throw them through the wash first and see if the love comes back. If not ..... shoe shopping!!!!! (I know, I know ... twist my arm, will ya?! :))

At any rate, I THINK Alkaline Trio put on a really good show, but really, my attention was elsewhere, so I can't do a proper review. I DO know though that they will always be known to me now as The Band Who Played At The Vomit Show!

* Fine! They probably don't "blacklist" you, but I would have had to walk the camera back to the car or given up camera batteries or something!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Knitting Scout Pledge

How cute is this??!!! There is a website of Knitting Badges. You know, a'la Boy Scout badges?! Only ... for us knitters. Way too cute!

I figure I've earned at least the following:

The “Proselytize Knitting” Badge - A requirement for all Knitting Scouts, the recipient must do his or her bit to present knitting in a positive light, whilst at the same time avoiding all references to “hipness”, grandmothers, and yoga. [and other than my "Toothpick Hell" knitting post, I think I've not voiced my knitting frustrations TOO much! ;)]

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used paper clips as stitch markers, or successfully whittled and then utilized bamboo skewers as dpns. [I am all over that "paper clip as a stitch marker" thing]

The “Inordinately Fond of Novelty Yarn” Badge - In which the recipient professes an arguably unhealthy affinity for yarn with slubs, sparkles, spangles, fur, feathery bits, and an unconscionable proportion of man-made fibre. Recipient makes no apology for the preference. [yeah, yeah, I have a plethora of fun fur scarves. What of it?? :)]

The “I’ve Knit Items With No Conceivable Practical Application” Badge - Recipients are those “special” campers who have knit items which somehow missed the mark of their intended application. There are probably more who are deserving of this badge than one would expect. [umm, can you say "accidental yamika"??]

The “Knitting Whilst Under the Influence” Badge - This applies to both actual knitting under the influence, as well as achieving moments of stunning intellectual clarity about ones knitting under the influence. Presumes talking about knitting whilst under the influence a given. [sometimes knitting just requires a little wine, dontcha know?! ;)]

Now if only they had a "My Friends Quake in Fear When I Say I've Knitted Their Baby a Gift" badge, I'd be all set!! :)