Friday, November 4, 2011

Guys & Does: The Perfect Date Night

Next Friday Big V and I are venturing out into public not only with each other - but with good friends of ours (we really want them to be our "IT" couple... you know, the go-to couple: for dinner and drinks and vacations in Belize when they win the lottery and become filthy rich). We're heading to (my favorite place) The Young Auditorium

Now, before you go and jump to conclusions about how boring it's going to be for the guys to spend an evening at the theatre... We are going to a deer hunting musical. THAT'S RIGHT! A show about hunting up north in Wisconsin! Complete with song and dance!

Considering one of the first questions a girl in Wisconsin asks a potential suitor is, "Do you hunt?" (which is translated roughly to "will you abandon me for weeks on end in the winter months leaving me to deal with the high-strung, house-bound children all alone while you're guzzling beer by the cases and laughing about farts with your buddies?")

Here's the write up:

American Folklore Theatre of Door County, WI is touring this wacky and wonderful excursion into the world of Wisconsin deer-hunting! It's a show that appeals to hunters, non-hunters, the wives who stay home while their husbands make the annual trek to the north woods (wink, wink, nudge, nudge on the stay at home part ladies!)

The hunter is celebrated once again in Guys & Does. You’ll meet Fritz Dingleheimer, burned-out mill-worker and wise hunter ready for his annual respite “up nort’.” You’ll also experience the hunt through the eyes of Bambi-loving non-hunter, Duane Puddles. Adding another take on hunting is Joe Jimmy Ray Bob Johnson III, a swaggering Texan whose quest for rare game is not quite so noble. And providing a rarely heard point-of-view on the matter is Staghart of the Golden Horns, an ancient, talking white deer. Guys & Does explores the hunt for deer, as well as the other things we all hunt for: validation, job satisfaction, significance, love and the perfect Christmas gift for your spouse.

Join the boys Up Nort' to find out what really happens in deer camp!

I figure it'll be an all around win: I get a "real date," the guys get up north deer humor and my mom gets to deal with my children while we're out.

But that's next Friday. This Friday I'll be home cleaning the toilet. And doing laundry. And vacuuming the floors. And doing the dishes...

Guys & Does tickets for Friday, November 11, 2011 at 7:30pm available by contacting the
Young Auditorium online or by calling (262) 472-2222.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turn that frown upside down!

It is really important to support those you care about. I know this. And I try. Honestly. I do. I give it my all. Like, when my sister called me:

I need to vent to someone!

Well, considering I owe you something like six thousand four hundred eighty seven vent-backs, go ahead.

The other day -

The other day?

 - the other day -

I met a bear?

I met a bear?

The other day I met a bear.... The other day I met a bear -- bahdum-de-dum-dum! Dum!

Don't judge me. She sang along.

In fact, she then forgot what she wanted to vent about because we were busy trying to figure out the actual lyrics. That's what I call a Support Success.

That guy was right; everything I need to know I did learn in kindergarten.

Now I can't get that stupid song out of my head.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What are YOUR plans tonight?

Big V is working late.
I work until 5:00 pm. Then...
Pick up Cletus the Used to be Fetus.
The Teen Bean has driver's observation scheduled from 5-7.
Dotter has swim from 6-7.
I have a meeting at 6.
I also have Bible Study from 6:30-8:30.
The one that's teaching me not to complain.
Skip Bible Study.
Ask Grammy (aka: my poor mother) to pick up the Bean from our house and deliver her to driver's ed.
Remember that she already has Dotter from picking that kid up after school at 3pm.
After picking up Cletus, drive to Gram's & drop Cletus off with her and pick Dotter up.
Drop Dotter off at pool by 5:45pm.
Remember to tell her to wait for her sister after practice.
Remember to tell her sister to go to the pool after driver's ed.
Get to my meeting by 6.
Ask Grammy (aka: my poor mother) to pick up girls from pool at 7pm.
After which she can drop all three - Cletus, Dotter & the Bean, off at home.
Pray to God Big V is home by then.
After my meeting, and confirming Big V successfully made it home to handle the children, high tail it over to my friend G's house for a much needed, much overdue coffee session with my girlfriends.
Take in deep breath and slowly let it out realizing I actually survived yet another Evening Appointment Symphony.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Young Auditorium presents Dailey & Vincent! Who? Don't worry, I had no idea either.

I called my Dad up and asked if he wanted to go on a date with me to see the bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Young Auditorium... he instinctively screamed out No! and then mumbled something about not trusting me alone out in public.

Which is ironic, because I stopped going out with him alone in public back in 1995 when he picked me up from the airport. Two and a half hours into our 45 minute drive home I realized he was (1) lost on these ridiculous back roads he insisted on taking and (2) driving off his drunk. We got home about 4 hours after he picked me up. Again, the airport is 45 minutes from our house. Who doesn't trust whom, Dad?

So, I asked my Mom to go with me. Because she's not that good at coming up with excuses on short notice. And also, growing up she had these long playing records of various folk singers, gospel singers, bluegrass bands -- no Elvis or The Beatles, mind you, but music was always in the top half of what we were doing -- so I figured she would enjoy it. (We also had a mean Roy Orbison 8-track in our conversion van, along with Crystal Gayle. We were totally cool.)

Apparently there was a buffet.
Food and bluegrass?
That's a score right there, people!

While we waited my Mom ignored me while she sent text messages back and forth to her favorite daughter, which ironically is not me, but rather my sister. But she won't be the favorite for long because I'm pretty sure my dad tried calling Shannon to tell her he was experiencing signs of a stroke or oleander poisoning or that he chopped his arm off accidently with a chainsaw and my sister was all nonchalant texting my Mom, "hey, Dad called me but now the phone just keeps ringing when I try to call him back. Maybe it was just a drunk dial." If he's dying, Shannon... if he's dying.... Which reminds me; I don't think anyone has checked.

Please turn off all electronic devises.
And you, back there in the striped shirt -
stop taking pictures!
At first, I was afraid we were way too close to the stage. Let me be clear: I don't think there is such a thing as a bad seat at the Young Auditorium ... I just prefer to see everything on stage in a wide panoramic view because I'm afraid I'd miss something. Also I don't like it when I accidently get spit on, which is what happened one time when I sat in the first row at a local high school performance of Pirates of Penzance. Let me tell you, by the end of this performance I couldn't get close enough.

I know little about bluegrass.  Truth be told, I had never even heard of Dailey & Vincent. In fact, I've only attended one other bluegrass show in my life but I figured I live so close to this amazing auditorium that continues to offer the most fantastic introductions to different cultures, venues and genres... so why not try? You know? Just go see what it's all about.

I am so glad I did.

Here is what I learned:

1) Contrary to what it might look like, Phil Collins is not the bass player.

Case in point:

2) The guy with the lowest voice also had the nicest hair. I know this because they kept picking on him for his hair. And also because he sang. In a very low voice. Deep. Like vibrating through your spine deep.

Case in point:

3) You can make fun of anyone about anything so long as you end with a blessing of their heart. (They do this in Tennessee.) As in: "She's as ugly as a mud-fence, bless her heart." See, if you don't bless their heart then all you've done is insult them, which is not cool, just mean. Personally, I think it works much better with an accent. For this reason I think I've been cheated out of the depths of my sarcasm because I'm not southern or British. No accent means I have to tow the line and watch what I say.

4) These boys are FUNNY! I mean, rolling around in your seat, stamping your feet, making you have to pee but you don't want to because you're afraid you'll miss something funny. Every word out of their mouths was humorous. And witty. And kind of sarcastic and snarky which of course made me want to kidnap them all and force them to attend my Funny People Only Bonfire. For this reason alone I believe everyone needs to check out their tour schedule and go see them because everybody benefits from laughter. They genuinely have fun on stage - and off....
Case in point: (seriously, the laughing will KILL you!)

5) These boys can PLAY! Ok. I admit it was kind of upsetting to learn that two of the five haven't hit puberty yet... but they make up for their baby doll looks with some intense mad fiddling & banjo skills. Also, I'm pretty sure it had nothing at all to do with the fact that I'm almost 40 and not even close to touring the country...

Case in point:

After the show... I stalked them. Which is what I normally do. Mostly because I was hoping to stuff them all in my car and bring them home to show all my friends.
He has no idea I'm right behind him.
I think I can take him!
Christian Davis, ladies and gentlemen!
This is me trying to be cool with that fact that his hair is way better than mine. And also, he can sing. Which is something I can't do. Unless you count that time I sang as Mrs. Hannigan in a review at the local theatre. But let's be honest... she's a drunk and isn't supposed to sing well. I sneer and sway really good so it was a perfect role for me.

Jeff Parker, ladies and gentlemen!
My mom took the photos of me and the members of the group. When it came time to take Jeff Parker's photo she kept saying it was blurry and had to take another one. This happened about 47 times. I told Jeff Parker my mom was drunk which I thought this was incredibly hysterical because my Mom has never drank a day in her life... I should have said my mom's just drunk, bless her heart.... because Karma decided I had insulted her and punished me by way of destroying my beloved Kate Spade bag you see in the photo. (I shed actual tears.)
Joe Dean, Jr and the amazing fiddle player from LA whose name escapes me. 
These two aren't even quarter of a century years old yet. I cannot even begin to wrap my head around where they're going to be in just 5 or 10 years. Or what kind of mark they'll put on the world. It makes me think I ought to probably put forth more effort. In anything. 

I think it's pretty obvious from the above photos that I failed to actually meet Jamie Dailey or Darrin Vincent of Dailey & Vincent. I'm thinking that's because by then word of my plan to kidnap them for my Funny People Only Bonfire had leaked out and frightened them off. That's okay. In today's social media driven world I can easily stalk them via their website, facebook, twitter or myspace. Also, they totally posted their tour schedule publicly, so now I know when and where to buy tickets to their next show.

Who wants to join me? I promise to remind you to go to the bathroom before the show so you don't miss anything.

Also, I should clarify that the videos were not taken by me, but rather snagged off YouTube - so you can find the band there, too. I just didn't want the Young Auditorium to think that I didn't listen and I annoyed people by taking video throughout the performance. Because I didn't. Except I was annoyed by the gentleman sitting above my left shoulder because he kept talking. A lot. Even during the 9/11 tribute which I thought was wrong. But that's just me.

Commitment Factor: The House that Haunts a City

It's Halloween; are you giving it your all?
This home has become a local tourist attraction...
they go all out
and no two years are ever the same...

Enter at your own risk:

Needless to say, this is a house that we drive by daily, in awe, but we do not walk up to, at night, during trick or treat hours... because they will scare the snot out of you.