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How Stebnitz Builders Saved My Relationship: Bearfoot!

The last time Big V and I went out alone (meaning without kids) was on the car ride to the hospital to give birth to Cletus the Used to Be Fetus. Cletus is now 16 months old. I think. (Give me a break; he's the third child - half of you can't remember your third child's name much less how old they are.) Suffice it to say, we've earned a date night. Except we're old and tired and boring (that's what happens after three kids and 30) and the only thing we could come up with is attempting to stay awake long enough to watch the 10:00pm news.

God sensed we were quickly morphing into Edith and Archie Bunker so he sent Stebnitz Builders to save our relationship.

Stebnitz Builders is a local construction company that specializes in building/transforming your home into your every desire and prides themselves in what they call "The Art of Perfect Listening," which is what Big V could totally benefit from because I've lost count of how many times I've asked him how do you not remember being a part of that conversation? It was just the two of us! But I digress.

Also locally operated is the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater which is home to the fantastic, fabulous, oh-what-I-wouldn't-give-to-perform-on-that-stage Irvin L. Young Auditorium. It truly is a fabulous theatre - the seats are comfy and the aisles are wide enough to actually walk through, and the acoustics are to die for! There is always a fantastic range of world-class arts and entertainment opportunities: musicals, comedies, dramas, ballets, modern dance, orchestras, bands --- anything you want to see you will find at the Young Auditorium.

And guess what happens when two great local companies come together? It's like when peanut butter and chocolate come together... you know it's going to result in yummy goodness and that's what happened: Big V and I got to go on a date!

Stebnitz Builders teamed up with the Young Auditorium and gave away free tickets to see an awesome bluegrass band called Bearfoot and guess who got the tickets??!!

Obviously, we're entirely comfortable in front of the camera.
After seeing this band I want to:

(1) Have a baby and name her Nora Jane because how can you not fall in love with a gorgeous, flirty voice dressed in a super cute black dress and heels, jamming out on a guitar? I want my future made-up baby to grow up and be just. like. her.

(2) Put Jason Norris on my dashboard and have his old-timey-soul-trapped-in-a-young-man's-body accompany my every life move with his mandolin. Also, I want Big V to take up mandolin lessons just in case Jason Norris isn't available to sit on my dash serenading me.

(3) I want to press my man's pants and send him off to work and then fire up the chainsaw. Trust me, you will, too.

(4) Learn to yodel in three part harmony because everyone knows the only thing better than one yodeler is three.

(5) Receive an autographed floppy disk from everyone in the band (because that idea is brilliant!)

Also, I want to infuse some enthusiasm into Angela Oudean because, although she is clearly a brilliant fiddle player and has a gorgeous voice, (both of which I could kill for; not that I would) that poor girl just looked bored to tears. I've never actually played the fiddle so perhaps it's just physically impossible to look like you're having fun while you're playing it or maybe she just lost her pet hamster or something.

Anyway, Nora Jane Struthers seems to be nothing but enthusiasm and I found myself incapable of taking my eyes off her. Or her shoes. Plus her guitar was very shiny and kept reflecting the spotlights so you couldn't help but be drawn back to her again and again while getting momentarily blinded. It was like a bluegrassy rave complete with strobe light action except no one was pouring their beer on my feet and bumping into me.

Overall, the band was fantastic and I highly recommend them to everyone. Listening to their songs was like spending the evening opening Christmas presents - each song appreciated and loved for the uniqueness it provided as a gift to the recipient. You know it's a great band when you can't pinpoint your favorite song. And they truly were all my favorite songs.

After the performance the band sprinted out to the lobby to sign autographs. And by sprinted, I mean they had to have physically ran because somehow they were sitting in place smiling before the first person left the theatre. I've seen lots of these signing meet & greets in my time and rarely does every member of the band look genuinely excited to sit and make small talk to strangers while signing their name a thousand times; but these people did. Even Angela. And then I felt really bad for thinking she was boring on stage. Maybe she just liked the up close and personal stuff better. It was like they had planned a party and invited all their friends. Like me! For a split second I thought I had a real chance at becoming BFF's with Nora Jane, but Big V suggested maybe I should leave out the whole part about wanting to name my children after her since that could be perceived as "creepy and kinda stalkerish." Side note: she has a blog called Nora Jane's Closet that is filled with some fantastic vintage clothing posts. She has a blog... I have a blog.... See? BFF material right there, people. Truth be told, Big V has more of a crush on Nora Jane than I do, which is why he feels threatened by our potential BFF relationship.

Not too tired to meet the masses!
I really wanted their new CD but since we're under 50 years old we don't carry cash on us. We honestly don't know how to function in society without one of those machines that swipes our card so I had to settle with an autographed playbill. Eh, it works. As long as I keep it in mint condition I'll be able to sell it on eBay in a couple of years when this band gets really hot as I honestly suspect they will. Plus, I can order their CD online.

Bearfoot. Not barefoot. There's a play on words here, people.

Then, as if we hadn't experienced enough greatness to our evening, the Young Auditorium announces they're having a free pizza party! Wha-?! First, free tickets, now free food? It was like we won the lottery. Pizza and brownies. Washed down with a cool glass of lemonade. Heaven.

Free food makes Big V very happy!

You know, bluegrass really isn't my first choice of music so I didn't know how I'd receive the show. I know I have a great appreciation and love for all kinds of music so I was pretty confident I'd enjoy the show... I just didn't realize how much I would actually want more of the music the band performed. Big V loved it, too. Our feet were tapping to every song and we exchanged firtatious glances during When You're Away (which reminds me, I'm totally going to need a new apron and a pair of overalls). We were like giddy teenagers walking hand-in-hand to the car, laughing about how the songs made us feel and how Big V is going to see about learning how to play the bass and join a bluegrass band. It was a fantastic evening that reminded us how music can make you feel so alive.

A big, huge, sincere THANK YOU, to Stebnitz Builders and Young Auditorium for giving these two tired kids a night to remember. I hope to see your continued community teamwork in the future; the awakened souls will be worth it, I promise. And thank you, to Bearfoot for your talent and your entertainment. We really needed it.

I also think I really need a bathroom remodel.... I wonder when Stebnitz Builders is going to give away one of those?


Johi said…
That sounds like a wonderful evening. I'm jealous! I loves me some bluegrass.
The last get away I had with my husband was when we drove to NE, ate a hamburger in a joint that I am certain had asbestos and/or lead paint and looked at taxidermy. We are big on romance.
Great to hear the night was a success. We are now looking in to adding marriage/ relationship counseling to our list of services, right along with kitchen/ bath remodels, additions and facilitating peace in the middle east.

We would love to hear a Partridge Family-esque performance with V on the fiddle and the "yet to be procreated female fetus" providing the sweet, yet powerful vocals. Not sure what you'd play, B. Didn't you play the cowbell or triangle in HS?

Give me a call and we can talk about the free bathroom idea ...
Phoenix Rising said…
@Johi - you will need to check this band out then. They were wonderful! Did you actually eat INSIDE the restaurant? Because then you've got us beat, asbestos and all!

@Stebnitz - I would totally rock the cowbell.
Nora Jane said…
Thank you so much for writing this totally entertaining and complimentary blog about our show!!!! It was really good to meet you and your husband and I hope we see you again the next time we're in town.


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