Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Story is Just Beginning

Finally some reprieve from the drama of my day to day struggles. I've mentioned the power of concerts before to you... if you don't remember, then scroll down. But to sum it up, the energy of concerts has this magical way of revitalizing me. When things get shitty (and trust me they do) or out of control I take some of it back by going to a show. Not just any show mind you. Bands that I love. Thank God Shinedown just toured here this week and saved my life, again.

I don't mean to sound dramatic, but I seriously haven't smiled that much and felt such a rush in a long time. Not to say my life is so horrible; it isn't. But it did need to get put into perspective again.

So anyway, the show. The Carnival of Madness is the name of the tour and it features 10 Years, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle and SHINEDOWN!!!!!!! We missed the first two bands because I had to teach in Woodbridge and then got caught on 495 in epic amounts of traffic. My B.

But by the time we got there PoM was starting up. It was an instant sauna. The temp was around 90 but with the 10k fans there all smashed together it felt like 110. Kris and I were doing all we could to not pass out from heat exhaustion. But trust me, it was totally worth it.

A few notes on Shinedown
Whether or not you listen to this band I feel as though I should give them props separate from their musical ability. First of all, they are the most fan-centric band I've ever seen. Everything they do on tour or on their websites/Twitter etc is for their fan base. They have the innate understanding that we (the "family") control their success. We buy the records and tickets to shows. We join the Nation and request them on the radio. Thus, they give a lot of control to their fans. We even got to submit ideas for the set list (which a few of my choices made it on there. TY BRENT!). Second, they are entertainers. They put on a show worth watching. So even if you don't know all the songs (psh, seriously!?) you can still be thoroughly entranced by their stage presence.

Musically, they are one of my all time favorite bands. It's the type of music I'm into (modern rock like 3 Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Crossfade, Seether, Red etc) and there is something for every mood I'm in. Aside from that, the lyrics are simply amazing... I need to find a better word for that but I'm struggling here. I just woke up. Shinedown lyrics have had the ability to make me smile, laugh, cry and scream since day one back in 2003. I first started listening to them when my parents were divorcing and found catharsis in Leave a Whisper. When the stress of college and the faltering of relationships weighed down on me I had Us and Them on my iPod Nano (those were the days lol). After riding off the trauma of a horrific breakup and moving to a new place with such high hopes for my future (that I've since had to rethink) I was needing some solace. So now for the past two years I have had Sound of Madness on my iPod Touch and iTunes and in my Jeep cd player almost nonstop. I have to give a lot of credit to Kristen (my roomie) for getting me back into them as much as I used to be. There was a time when I was digging back through my old bands and listening to their newer stuff. And while I knew every song on SoM, after 6 months I put it away for a while. Then Kris put "Call Me" on a burned cd we listened to when we carpooled to work. I was in love again. Rekindling the romance took about a hot second. I pulled Sound of Madness back out of my cd holder and started up the love affair again. This year I saw that they were opening for Breaking Benjamin and Nickelback... SWEET! Kris and I went and I had the time of my life (I already posted on this). However, their set was sooo short. :( So I did some research and joined their fan club - Shinedown Nation to see when they would actually headline.

This summer was my ticket. Shinedown started up Carnival of Madness and are currently touring all over the US ending in late August in Wyoming (I think). Then they are touring again (see a pattern?) this fall and will be in York, PA which I am totally there!

Brent (the lead singer) talks to the audience a lot throughout. Before he started "Save Me" he asked us if we had ever been in a situation where our power was taken from us by something or someone. Kris and I just looked at each other. Once again it hit home. Brent then demanded (not asked) that we take that power back and not ever let that thing or person have control again. If you keep fighting it then you've won. Put lots of things back in perspective. So thank you (like he'd ever read this). :)

If you have not listened to SD much please give it a whirl. If you know you are not a fan I challenge you to find lyrics you relate to. Maybe it's too hard rock for you... if so, download their iTunes sessions which are acoustically aimed. I am promoting them so much because I owe a lot to how this band makes me feel. Brent, Eric, Zach and Barry are such talents and so eager to be a part of their fans lives.

I don't mean this post a propaganda and I hope you have seen my point. Much like my roommate, closest friends, family and role models, this band has had a part in keeping me sane and offering me a way to let go of all the pain and setbacks that life tends to have in store. I hope that you will find a band or artist that can do the same... you never know, it could be Shinedown. :)

Setlist for Carnival of Madness, Columbia, MD (not in order):
Sound of Madness
I Dare You
Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide
If You Only Knew (FAVORITE!)
Diamond Eyes
Son of Sam
Fly From the Inside
Save Me
What a Shame
Her Name is Alice
The Crow and the Butterfly
Simple Man
Second Chance
... and I know I'm missing one in the middle and hell if I can remember it. :(

"Even in madness I know you still believe. Paint me on canvas so I'll become, what you could never be. I dare you to tell me to walk through fire. Wear my soul and call me a liar. I dare you to tell me, I dare you to"


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just Venting

I'm so fucking tired. I'm tired, I'm restless and I feel like I'm falling without any form of safety net. And no, it's not exciting or new. It's scary and familiar. The constant feeling of falling. Falling short, falling away, falling off, falling out. It's old and tired... sorta like the way I feel as of late. So many people to disappoint including myself. Especially myself. So many things to lose... jobs, opportunities, money, friends, loved ones, time. There was a song I was listening to the other day that I kinda thought "huh, that's about right." It was about being on the outside of yourself and just watching the drama unfold. And before anyone asks "What's wrong Meg?" please know that this is just an overall state of being. It's from a series of tiffs with people, bad news (mostly job wise) and a financial crisis that I haven't made my way out of. It's kind of like drowning in air.

Everything in life is moving right along. And for the most part I feel like a member of society. I have my health for the most part. I have a great group of friends (who I piss off frequently <3 ), I have a loving family and I have a job that I love. However, I am the master of none. I don't control my emotions and I have a bitch of a time getting a handle on responsibilities of my own. It's hot and loud and crowded here. This is not a pity party. Trust me, I am sick of people thinking that I am never happy or never satisfied. It's simply not true. I love my life. But I can't handle my life efficiently. I'm working on it. Everything about me that you see is a work in progress. Please see that I am trying to be a good person. A success. A dependable friend. A caring individual. An intelligent and successful 20-something just attempting to make it here. I'm tired of having to ask for help. Why can't I do this on my own? Why can't I just be settled already? I'm just so tired.

The thing that triggered this was that I scraped up money from under the seat of my Jeep (not kidding) so I could get a cheeseburger today. I paid in pennies, nickels and 2 quarters. I couldn't afford a drink. I got home and settled in and sank my teeth into it. It was glorious. Ten minutes later I was hurling it all up. What a waste of the last bit of money and leaf particles I could scrounge up. And now I'm hungry again. It shouldn't be like this. I shouldn't be that pathetic girl in the McDonald's parking lot digging through her backseat cushions for the last 5 cents to pay Virginia sales tax. That's not what a college professor should do. It's like being a teenager again... except with lots more bills and no family to run home to and cry about it. The absolute worst part of this aside from hurling my dinner was that afterward I felt like poo but I had promised a very good friend that I would go see her today. But I don't have enough gas to go meet her. I didn't feel well and that WAS the main reason for my postponing, but I was also worried I just would break down on the side of the road. I can't afford gas. And she's leaving for good soon. I'm so tired. :(


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back to my world

I realize I've been posting mostly short stories lately and less on what is going on in my ever-changing world. So back to the Real World: Centreville. Okay, so my life is not that epic that there is any chance at a reality TV train wreck forming, but I still find humor in it all.

Remember that job interview I got and was really excited about? Stop praying for me... it didn't work out. They gave the job away. BUT I WILL NOT BE MOVED! I'm gonna keep digging around for full-time teaching gigs and for PhDs in Higher Ed. Someday the balance of the universe will be restored and I will have some positives happen. Til then I'll just bitch about what could have been. :)

No worries though. I'm not begging for sympathy like I have in the past. I am finding far too many fun things to focus on. For example: If I EVER want a compliment to brighten my day I will go to KFC. (I'll explain). The man who is always working the window when I drive up for my 3 crispy strips, wedges and a drink is just darling! I'll give him my credit card and he asks if I want sauce. I say "honey mustard please." And WITHOUT FAIL he will say something like "you're sweet enough. You don't need honey." Something like that... No I'm not stupid. He says that to every woman who asks for honey mustard I'm sure. But in my perfect world this big burly man is telling me this because I am just as sweet and adorable as pie. ;)

My career is booming... not financially. But personally it's wonderful. I just finished up the first summer session at NVCC Woodbridge. It went by sooo quickly! But they were an awesome group. I also got evals from GMU and NVCC for the Spring and got more 5.00s! Not totally across the board, but they were still good. Apparently one person thinks I try to be funny. Little do they know that I am actually quite hilarious and they have a complex. :) So I'm very pleased. Now if only this job could make money... I'd like to be able to comfortably pay rent AND get my KFC whenever I damn well please.

Let's see... what else... OH! I'm taking an epic solo road trip to Indiana soon. My darling LaKesha is moving there for a full time teaching gig so I promised I'd help her out. I'll see Mr. Joeface while I'm out there so it should be a good time. Let's hope Beep Beep Jr (The green Jeep) will make the journey without problem. I'm sure I'll post about it when I get back.

I need to see more Orioles games. Let's make a date! Anyone?

<3 Meg