Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Night of Musical Bliss

Last night I was lucky enough to see one of my all time favorite performers, for the second time, Pat Benatar.

The first time was back in 1997 where Pat joined in on Styx's 'Return to Paradise' tour. It was an amazing show back then. And while Styx put on a wonderful show, I was really only there to see Pat. I sat rather impatiently, until Styx had finished performing, before I got to really enjoy the show.

I mean, it was great seeing Styx perform...don't get me wrong. I have always liked their music. But, this was Pat frickin' Benatar we are talking about! She has been one of my favorites for roughly 30 years...since I was like 13 or 14 years old. So, yeah, I was only there to see her.

About a month or two ago I found out that Pat was going to be performing in Florida at a few venues not too far from where I live. Right then and there I knew it was a show I would not miss.

I quickly followed links for ticket information when I damn near had a heart attack. At the venue closest to my home they were offering the following "package" deal:

Platinum - $1500
* 2 tickets within the first 5 rows
* VIP Meet & Greet Passes
* Personal Photo with Pat & Neil
* Limited Edition Tour t-shirt
* Commemorative Tour Lanyard
* Autographed 8x10 Glossy
* Limited Edition, Kato Green, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo Signature Eagle B.C. Rich Guitar

OMG!!!! I could have the opportunity to meet her?!?!?!?!?!

Dharm and I discussed it and we were set to get those tickets. We have been saving up to buy a house and have not taken a real vacation in roughly 7 years. $1500 is a big bill, but we'd spend that amount if we had gone on vacation what's the big deal????

A few days passed and good ol' responsibility/reality sank in. We ended up not getting the 'Platinum' package. (pout) Although it was a price we could afford, we felt it would be better off being used towards the purchase of a home. (It sux being a grown up some times)

We also found out that Queen Latifah was going to be performing in the town we live in soon and decided to go see her as well. So, we opted for normal tickets for Pat's show because we would be getting tickets for QL too. But, man, it would have been GREAT to have met Pat and Neil...the other stuff would have just been added perks.

The seats we ended up with were pretty awesome seats however. I'm not too keen on floor level seats...unless they are within the first 4 to 5 rows. But, none of those were available. So, I selected balcony/box seats. The website I was ordering from landed me with some killer seats. We were in the first balcony/box (which was pretty much above the 4th and 5th rows and slightly to the right side of the stage) in the front seats. We had nothing but railing in front of us. Yay!!!!

This is how close we were sitting. Yay!

Now, this is where I show you what a horrible blogger I am. I did not even think to bring a pen and paper to jot down notes about the show and names of the songs that were performed. And, to top it off, I forgot my cell phone. No jotting down notes that way either. I'm such a dork!

I can list some of the songs from memory...but couldn't tell you in which order they were performed.

They opened with 'All Fired Up'...and I think they closed with 'Heartbreaker'. In between those two songs they performed:

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
So Sincere
Sex as a Weapon
We Belong
Love is a Battlefield
Hell is for Children
Fire and Ice
You Better Run (we found out last night that this song was the second video that MTV aired the night it launched back in 1981)

...and many more...which I can't remember. The show lasted a little more than an hour and a half. It ended too soon if you ask me. They could have performed until the wee hours of the morning and it wouldn't have bothered me one bit.

Although Pat didn't hit as many of the high notes as she used to, she sounded wonderful none-the-less. She sang with as much strength and passion as ever. And, of course, Neil was rockin' it loud and hard on his well as providing great vocals.

I took roughly 150 pictures at the show, but many of them didn't come out that well. I got scolded by security for using the flash on my camera and was told to turn it off. The quality of the pictures from that point on suffered.

I'll share with you the pictures that came out the best. Hope you enjoy them.

All-in-all it was a great show and is one I'll never forget...well...won't forget going at least. The way my memory is I'll forget much about the show itself.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I've been a little AWOL

Sorry for no recent posts. With my promotion at work added responsibilities came with it. I've been so busy at work that I'm pretty much wiped by the time I get home. My brain just doesn't want to work much after I'm home.

There have been many days where I've taken naps after work and Dharm has woken me up when she got home from work. On those days I didn't touch the computer and spent the evenings with her.

On top of that, I have been in a bit of a WoW funk and haven't really wanted to log in. Which kind of makes me feel bad/guilty...for two reasons.

Reason 1:

A week before 5.2 hit a few of my guildies helped me get the last few ilvl points I needed to run LFR with them. A few of them made me some ilvl 476 pieces and one guildie made me an ilvl 496 piece.

I ran LFR with them once and once on my own...and that was it. And that is what makes me feel bad/guilty. They used up some pretty expensive materials to craft me that gear and I've gotten very little use out of it.

When 5.2 dropped we were all busy checking out all the new goodies. We didn't do LFR that week. Then, the week after I was still fiddling with all the new, no LFR for me again. I pretty much overwhelmed myself with all the new stuff there is to do...and on so many alts that I need to/should do it all on.

To add insult to injury, I finished off leveling my 6th toon (my Horde DK) and started running scenarios, heroics and a few of the world bosses to start getting him geared up.

Needless to say, I'm a bit burned out and need a break.

Reason 2:

Someone I know in WoW started doing a Saturday night event of running old content in 10 man mode. When they asked me if I'd like to be a part of it I was all like (in my best Curley immitation) "Sointenly!".

I missed out on the first run because I messed up the starting time in my head and logged in late. They filled my spot and didn't have the heart to kick the person who filled in...which is all fine and dandy...I was late so the other person shouldn't be punished for it by being kicked.

Since then, I've been spending my new days off (Fri & Sat) with Dharm...which is something we haven't been able to since we first met. For the 11 years we have been together I've always had to work weekends. I either worked the 9p-5a shift, the 2p-10p shift, the 3p-11p shift or the 7a-3p shift on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Eventually, she might get sick of me spending so much time with her and tell me to go play on the computer. Which by then, hopefully, the Saturday night events will still be going on and I'll be able to participate. But until then I'll be spending my time with her and away from the computer.

But I feel kind of guilty about it because I told my WoW buddy that I'd do the Saturday night events with them...and haven't even done one with them.

I'm not sure how long I'll be away from WoW, and my blog, but if you have me on your friends list you may see me from time to time while I play a different game.

A few days ago I downloaded the free version of Starcraft II to check out and give me something else to play. I have been enjoying it immensely. I ended up buying it (both the original game and the new expansion) only one day after giving the free version a try.

What I really like about it is that it is similar to the MUCH outdated Command & Conquer games. I have the 'Ten Year Anniversary' edition of C&C and still play it often when I don't feel like WoW'n it up.

So, you may still see me around by way of friends list...but just not as much.

Try not to miss me too much in my absence.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Musical Monday - 'Hells Bells' (AC/DC)

Not a whole lot I can say about this song...other than it never gets old and I love listening to it.

According to the song's Wiki, 'Hells Bells' was released in 1980. I was all of twelve years old then. But, some 32 years later, the song is still one of my favorites out there. There aren't many bands around today, in my opinion, that can rock it as good as AC/DC did/does.

In staying in theme with the violent nature of the song, I want to show you the two following pictures:

I had to go to the gun range this past weekend to re-qualify for my weapons license. I had to shoot a handgun (.38 revolver) from the following distances:
 - 1 yard (6 shots)
 - 3 yards (12 shots)
 - 7 yards (12 shots)
 - 15 yards (12 shots)
 - 25 yards (6 shots)

As you can see from the pictures, I pull to the right...sigh. But, even with those wide shots, I scored a 235 out of a possible 240. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. To top it off, it's been over a year since I have picked up a gun and shot.

Wonder how much better I'd be if I could practice.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Musical Mon...errrr...Friday - 'All Around the World' (ATC)

Sorry for the delay. I've been busy with work stuff and didn't get around (ok, I forgot) to making any posts. So, I give you Musical Monday on Friday. Let this song get your weekend off to a good start!

There are many songs out there that stir up emotions and feelings. Some good, some bad...depends on what was going on around you when you heard the song. For me, this song is associated with good emotions/feelings.

All Around the World - ATC

I don't remember the year...I do remember the event.

A second (or third or fourth) cousin of mine was getting married. We aren't very close, so it was no surprise that I wasn't invited to the wedding. Some of my cousins from the New England area (who I am relatively close to) were invited and were here in Florida for the wedding.

On the day of the wedding I happen to be hanging out with my sister when we decided to crash the wedding. Now, we weren't that rude, in the sense that we busted into the church during the ceremony and made a scene. But, we patiently sat outside in her car and waited until the wedding was over before we made our move.

Ok...we didn't actually sit patiently. We had the top down on her convertible and had the music blaring...while we danced on the front seats of her car.

As everyone came out of the church many of them saw us and kind of shook their disgust maybe...who knows...who cares.

The cousins we do get along with came over to us instantly. We chatted a bit and then headed off to the motel most of them were staying at. Yes, they blew off the reception to hang out with us.

After they changed out of their wedding attire, we headed off to get a bite to eat. Then, after food, we went off to hit one of the local bars/hangouts that was right up the street from where they were staying.

There were about 6-7 of us, so we made up our own little party. By the end of the evening that amount more than doubled.

There was a lot of drinking and dancing at the bar. As the evening went on, 'All Around the World' came on and the bar seemed to instantly explode with energy. Everyone got up and was dancing and laughing and having an all out great time in that instance. It was a great feeling. Even one of my cousins who doesn't dance was hard at it on the dance floor. We were having a blast.

The evening didn't end on that high note kind of began at that point.

Shortly after that song the bar started closing was fast approaching 2am. So, our little party of 6-7 started making our way out to head back to the motel. We had acquired some other bar attendees and our little party was now grown to about 12 or so of us.

As we were walking down the street towards the motel my sister and I spotted a man inside a telephone booth talking on the phone. My sister and I looked at each other and you could tell we had the same thought. She, with all seriousness masking drunkeness, asked me, "How many people do you think we can fit into that phone booth?". I replied, "I dunno...let's find out".

Breaking out in laughter, we grabbed each others hands, and the hands of some of our cousins, and made a mad dash to the phone booth...and inside we all went.

At first, the man in the booth looked like a deer caught in headlights. His eyes got huge as he exclaimed, "What the hell are you doing?!". My sister and I, being the first ones in the booth, said in tandem, "We're seeing how many people we can fit in here".

As our party of 12 or so all crammed (yes, we did get that many of us in there) into the tiny phone booth, the man on the phone finally said, "F**k this, I'm hanging out with you all. You all are crazy!". He hung up the phone and started laughing with the rest of us.

After we peeled ourselves out of the phone booth we headed to the motel. We picked up a few more people along the way and had about 20 or so by the time we reached the motel. Could have been more...I was pretty drunk by then and didn't stand there and count heads.

From there it was time to hit the hot tub and pool...and have more drinks.

Right away one of the women we picked up along the way decided her clothing was not agreeing with her. She immediately got undressed and tossed her clothes aside and jumped into the pool. The rest of the night became clothing optional. Needless to say, there was a lot of nakedness going on.

Much of the rest of the night is a blur...I do remember my sister and one of my cousins laughing and making comments about another cousin. They were saying something about how much the other cousin was gonna freak out when he watched the video he was filming the next day. Apparently there was something going on I missed out on that would make him mad. It didn't seem to phase him though because, according to them, he just kept on filming.

This craziness lasted until around 4am or 5am. Did I mention we were having a blast?

To this day, none of us have seen the video...outside of the cousin who filmed it...which is a was a really great night. I would love to see how it all turned out on video...and to see my one cousin's reaction as he watched it.

Oh, and if you wondered who the man on the phone was talking to, it was his ex-wife. He had left her (from one of the Carolina states) and had just arrived in town. He was phoning her to tell her he was alive, and was in Florida, but was not coming home...and then hung up on her without saying goodbye to come party with us.

So now, every time I hear this song I think of this crazy, fun filled night.