Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Emotional Farewell

This was a pretty somber day. By the time Sunday came around, I was ready for it. I'd had a great time at this adult sleep away camp, but I was exhausted and it was time to go home. But not until I saw Tom Petty, of course.

Rachel and I got up early and eventually began packing things up. As I was moving things around and making room in the car for everything that was outside of it, I realized I had an embarrassing amount of wet wipes left over. I hadn't even used a whole pack and the box I bought at Costco had 10 packs (60 count) in it. What the hell am I supposed to do with 600 wet wipes?! Sorry boys, you'll never step foot in my bathroom again. I need to find another festival to go to. I also bought too much Gatorade, Goldfish, beer (it's possible) and chicken salad. I'm still eating that chicken salad. Barf.

The only thing missing is a box of Depends.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #10: You can have too many wet wipes and you can get sick of chicken salad.

Once we all got packed up, we decided to go our separate ways. Meagan and Jenn were leaving earlier than Rachel and I, and they wanted to see a show at 12. So, Rachel and I sat in the car air conditioning long enough to cool off and then went to Centeroo to get coffee and find the cinema tent. It was air conditioned, so we decided to hang out there until Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros came on. We got to the stage while The Sheepdogs were still playing and basically passed out on the ground for a while. We were nicely rested when Edward Sharpe came on. It was a very touching show. During 'Home' they went into the audience to ask people to tell them a story. They found one guy who told us a year ago the band came to play in his hometown, but he couldn't make the show because he was sick. The band actually went to visit him in the hospital and the next day he got a transplant that saved his life. Alex Ebert (lead singer) hugged him and invited him on stage to hang out with them. It was amazing and very emotional. I actually teared up.

After this show we had some time before Tom Petty came on, so we went back to the tent for a few. I shaved my legs since I'd forgotten to that morning, and we put on long sleeves because it was getting cold out. Should've brought my poncho, too, because it poured down rain on us for pretty much all of Tom Petty. Even though we were cold and wet, we still enjoyed the show. We stayed until about 10:30 and walked back to the car to leave. We started getting nervous seeing all the traffic trying to get out, but it turns out we were so far from the crowds that we had no trouble getting out. And after turning around a few times because of the Manchester cops trying to tell us to go the wrong direction and then blocking off the ramp to the Interstate (WTF?!), we were both home by 1am.

This was an amazing, possibly life-changing experience that everyone should be a part of before they die. I was worried that the tent-camping and no showers would deter me, but it only added to the fun.  In fact, I'm pretty sure my hair is still coated in a layer of dirt. This experience is one that I'll never forget. I fully intend to go back next year (get ready, Mom, you're coming with).

Fitting In With Hipsters

By Saturday I'd gotten the "shower" thing down. It took about 4 water bottles to wash my hair, and about 5 wet wipes to get "clean." I was also battling a slight sunburn on my shoulders, despite my multiple applications of sunscreen during the past two days. It wasn't enough to bother me a ton but enough to keep me diligent about the sunscreen.

Many of the shows we wanted to see didn't start until rather late in the day Saturday, so we hung around the tent for a while waiting for the sun to start going down before we walked over to Centeroo. I want to say we didn't walk over until about 5pm (I could be remembering this wrong, though - seems like we were constantly in the sun). Cat Power went on at 6:15 so we all hung out for a little while and observed the one girl we found who fit in less at Bonnaroo than we did. And by 'we' I mean Jenn ... Happy Lights, anyone?!

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #5: If you're trying to fit in at Bonnaroo, don't pack a peanut butter sandwich in your fanny pack. 
General Life Lesson #6: Burn all fanny packs.

Cat Power was great, but she didn't sing Cross Bones Style or The Greatest, so I was kinda ticked about that. The Lumineers came on after Cat Power. They were amazing. They even came out into the audience close to where we were standing and sang a couple of songs. This just made the crowd migrate to where we were, but it was still SO cool! However, after they went back on stage, the crowd that had migrated toward us didn't go back to where they came from and I was forced to stand beside a meathead having an identity crisis. He looked like he spent way too much time at the gym trying to out-exercise his diet. And was failing. He also had gauges in his ears and a full-grown beard. He didn't know all the words to the songs but sang them anyway. Badly. He was also a terrible dancer, and every time his arm touched mine, I could feel the prickles from the hair he shaved that had grown out over the weekend. Ew. The weekend had started to get to me by this point.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #7: Standing in the back isn't always a bad thing.

After The Lumineers Rachel and I walked back to the tent while Jennifer and Meagan went to see Jack Johnson. This was supposed to be Mumford & Sons, but they had to cancel. Jack Johnson was not an equivalent replacement, and we just didn't care enough to deal with the crowds. We decided to go back and put on our Molly t-shirts we got the night before just to see what would happen.

We were actually pretty popular with the crowd on the way back to Centeroo to see Billy Idol. Whether or not it was a 'good' popular or not, we may never know. But it was the most recognition any of those Bonnaroovians paid us and we felt like we fit in for the first time since being there. Though looking back now, they could probably see right through us. We made a few friends on the walk there but had no drugs to sell them, so our friendships were short-lived.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #8: When in doubt, wear a t-shirt with a drug reference on it. You can't go wrong.

Once we got to Centeroo, we realized we had no idea what stage Billy Idol was playing on, so we walked around to try and find it. For some reason we kept going in circles, so we finally had to stop and ask some people where it was. It was an older couple, and they pointed us in the right direction. They knew immediately where Billy was playing and were probably on the way to see him themselves. By the time we finally got to his stage, we were exhausted from all the walking we'd just done, so we stayed for two songs and went back to the tent.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #9: Never forget your schedule.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Who's Molly?

After getting to bed early Thursday, we were all awoken during the night by the loudest cackling laugh I had ever heard. I had ear plugs in and it still woke me up. I have no idea what time it was, but according to Jenn, it was after most people had gotten back to their tents. Our neighbors on the other side of us (a little less "Bonnaroovian" than the ones to the right) were apparently pretty pissed about it. Someone must have said something to her though, because I didn't hear it again the rest of the weekend.

8am came pretty early that morning, and so did the heat. The tent got really hot really quickly. I turned on the fan I'd brought, but it didn't help much. I went ahead and got up since Jenn was already awake and sitting under the easy-up. We sat there for most of the day since it was so hot under the sun. None of us actually got up and became real people until about 2 in the afternoon.

This was a long day because there were good bands playing from about 3 in the afternoon until Pretty Lights that night at 1:30am. I can't remember all the details of Friday, but we walked around Centeroo between shows to see what all was around. Lots of food vendors. There was a silent disco, which was weird to see from the outside. Everyone had on huge earphones and were all dancing, but we couldn't hear the music. It was funny looking.

We also found a weird Christmas-themed bar. It was air conditioned and there were Christmas lights and dancing and even a Santa with dreads. While we were there, some random girl handed me a t-shirt and kept walking. Jenn followed her and got all of us t-shirts without knowing what they meant. She found out the next day when one of us told her. I thought everyone knew what Molly was. I thought wrong.

We, of course, saw Paul McCartney and it was ridiculously packed. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a soul at Bonnaroo that missed this show. We stood in the back and there were still crazy amounts of people standing around but it wasn't quite as claustrophobic. When Paul came on stage, I remember it feeling really surreal. Even though we were so far back, he was still up there on the stage talking to us! He was the cutest little British man in his white button-down. After a couple of songs, he took off his jacket and said, "Alright, that was the one wardrobe change for the night." He read signs people in the crowd held up for him. He brought out a guitar that he'd used in the original recording of one of his songs back in the 60's. He also talked about his friendship with Jimi Hendrix. He even played Eleanor Rigby! So amazing!

We stayed for the whole show but left after the first encore. I still hadn't heard Band on the Run, but it was time for ZZ Top, so we decided to head over there before that huge crowd started walking over. And I was also ready to sit down. However, we waited for 30 minutes for ZZ Top to come on. Rachel and I were so good and pissed off by the time they actually did decide to come on that we couldn't even enjoy the show. We found out later that they were waiting for Paul McCartney to finish. He did three encores. I simultaneously felt guilty at being mad at ZZ Top and pissed off for missing three encores. He probably sang the song I wanted to hear. UGH.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #3: Stay for the encore(s) when Paul McCartney is playing.

Jenn came to find us at ZZ Top to drop off Meagan so Jenn could go to bed. She'd never heard of Pretty Lights before and kept telling people we were going to see the "light show" and "Happy Lights," so we didn't try to keep her up for that one.

Shortly after we got to the Pretty Lights stage, the second person collapsed, and I'm about 98% sure this one was drug induced. He had to be escorted out by his friends because there was no way a medic was going to get through the crowd of people packed into that place but the crowd parted for them, which was nice.

Bonnaroo Life Lession #4: Pace yourself.

Meagan and I found out pretty quickly that it was hard to fully appreciate the show completely sober. Don't get me wrong, it was amazing, but I can only imagine what it would've been like to watch it in an altered state of mind. I was slightly jealous of everyone who was. Meagan and I pushed our way back through the throngs of people and went to bed about an hour after the show started. Rachel stayed and told me later that they played until the sun came up. She slept in the next morning.

Waiting for Pretty Lights

Typical Bonnaroovians

If you know me at all, you know I went to Bonnaroo this weekend. Everyone keeps asking me how it was and, since I can't even begin to describe how it was, I'm going to try to write a post (or four) about it.

Things you should know:
• The girls I went with: Staci, Traci, Steph, Meagan, Jenn and Rachel
• Staci, Traci and Steph in one car
• Meagan and Jenn in another car
• Rachel and I in mine

We decided to meet in a random parking lot at 8:30 Thursday morning. This was certainly an ambitious time, but I figured we could aim for 8:30 and if we left by 9, we'd be doing great. Well, I then realized I'd forgotten my wristband on the way to pick up Rachel. So, I sent the group a text pushing the meeting time to 9 since we'd also heard about a wreck on the interstate that morning. Since I was almost to Rachel's place, I went ahead and picked her up. Hating myself for asking everyone to be there at 8:30, we then headed back to my apartment to get the one thing I couldn't forget. (Also, if you know me at all, you know that I'm the girl that reminds everyone to bring their tickets and then forgets her own. It's kind of my thing.) Rachel and I finally got to the parking lot about ten minutes after 9. I felt terrible because Meagan and Jenn were on time and had already been waiting 30 minutes and the other car still wasn't there yet.

But I digress.

After everyone got to the parking lot, we headed to Manchester around 10am. Somehow we got separated from the twins and Steph on the way. By some act of God, Rachel and I got through the toll booth at the same time Meagan and Jenn did, so we were right behind them in the line to camp. We ended up camping right across from each other and were able to put the easy-up between our tents for shade and a common area of sorts. Here is where we sat and hung out/did most of our drinking for the weekend.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #1: Do not get separated from the people you want to camp with. If that requires a little aggressive driving ... so be it.

Our Setup

I knew almost immediately that we did not fit in with the typical Bonnaroovians. Before we had even gotten our tents up, the people to our right had already set up, made friends with the people camping across from them and lit up a blunt underneath their easy-up complete with carpet on the ground. Our neighbors were the typical Bonnaroovians. We were not. They didn't even offer us drugs.

Once we'd cooled off and had some beer, we decided to walk to Centeroo and see what was going on. Our tent was a little over a mile walk, which turned out to be a good thing. When we got closer I realized just how many people were there. It was crazy! People everywhere! We saw our first possibly drug-induced collapse. Some chick hit the ground, eyes wide open complete with death stare. No one seemed to do anything at first. Maybe they didn't know what to do, but eventually they got her up and walked her to some shade. There was nothing else we could do, so we kept going to Centeroo.

The line to get in was ridiculously long. We waited about 15 minutes to get in. People were literally everywhere. I had to adjust my mindset. I'm not a fan of having my personal space invaded. This was, however, the longest wait to get in of the weekend. It wasn't bad after that.

I don't remember all of what we did Thursday after getting to Centeroo - the whole weekend is a blur, but I know we saw Purity Ring around 9:30 because they sounded amazing. They also had a pretty cool light show to go with it. Rachel and I got separated from Meagan and Jenn a while before that and we knew they wanted to see Alt-J later that night, so we went back to the tent early. It was going to be a long weekend.

Bonnaroo Life Lesson #2: Get to bed early the first night.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hello, Neighborhood!

I moved to a new place!

I tried to come up with a more clever/cute/cool way to say that but came up empty handed. It could be the Destiny's Child I'm listening to distracting me from coming up with legible sentences. I'll try harder.

The Place
So, I finally got out of my overpriced, under-furnished, yet very large apartment and into a smaller, reasonably-priced, still under-furnished duplex. I had a month and a half to move in since my lease at The Grove didn't end until May 31st, but I've finally gotten everything moved and am working on getting settled in and finding a place for everything. Closet space is very limited, so it's really hard to just shove things into one and call the place clean. Now I actually have to buy furniture and unpack boxes. Being a grown-up is hard.

My place sans furniture.

The bunnies have adjusted (somewhat) nicely. They hate the hardwood floors because they slide around on them. I actually LOVE the hardwood floors and will never go back to carpet if I can help it. I even took my vacuum cleaner home to Vicksburg. I'm done with that thing! I bought some indoor/outdoor carpet for the bunnies to live on inside their cage and when I let them out, I put down some small rugs for them to walk on. They are figuring it out. Poe has actually ventured off the carpet and all the way to my bedroom to explore, but I have to be careful not to move too quickly because she freaks out and does a weird Scooby Doo move on the floor trying to run away. Not that I'm worried about her messing up the wood (she doesn't weigh enough for that), I'm just not trying to give a bunny a heart attack.

The Neighborhood
It's in the 12 South/Belmont neighborhood, which is a great location for all you folks out there who don't live in Nashville. It's very quaint and historic. There are tons of restaurants within walking distance. People run/walk along the sidewalks when the weather is nice (and even when it's not - people are crazy about their fitness here). There's also a park at the end of my street that hosts festivals and farmers markets in the summer. And the people are super friendly. I've been welcomed to the neighborhood by no less than three of my neighbors since I moved in. I have even made plans with one of them, Diane, to walk to the farmers market one of these days when neither of us has something going on.

Diane and her husband (my neighbors to the left) were the first to welcome me when I was still moving in. They gave me their numbers and even offered to be my emergency contacts. Her husband is from the MS gulf coast so they either took to me very quickly or felt sorry for me. I'll take either one. Super nice people! She also told me there's a songwriting Grammy winner living next to her (two doors down from me). I don't remember his name, but he apparently taught the Kings of Leon what rock and roll was back in the day. He won a Grammy with them a couple of years ago. He's even got a huge studio in his back yard. Diane was sure to point out to me that it was soundproof. Ha, like I care! I wanna see famous people! You never know what you're going to find in Nash.

There's a grocery store at the end of my street next to a recording studio (there's one of those on every corner in this town), my church is literally across the street, and there's a rather expensive-looking animal hospital down the road. I could potentially never leave the neighborhood and be perfectly happy.

I love my new neighborhood. Come see me, but be warned - call it the ghetto (the grocery store looks slightly run-down) and we will no longer be friends. Grammy winners don't live in the ghetto!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Life Update/Bad Car Ju-Ju

I recently came to the realization that I haven't blogged about anything since Valentine's day. So, I started racking my brain trying to come up with something cool/funny that's happened to me since then that's blog-worthy... And since I'm still trying to come up with something, I came to another realization that my life is boring. So boring that I'm just going to post an update of sorts and hope something cool/funny comes out of it.

Here goes.

It's June now.
The Bachelorette is back on, so I have something to look forward to on Monday nights after the ridiculously hard workout class I (sometimes) go to.
I've lost 25 pounds since January.
Worked my ass off for that one. Still have a ways to go, but it's a nice start.
I moved to a new place (I will devote a separate post to this).

Finding something to write about seems harder than I thought it would be.

Here's something: My car ('04 Honda Accord - 240,000 miles) is either being an ass or is finally giving up on life. I went home to Vicksburg this past Thursday for my cousin's wedding. I drove 7 hours without knowing my windshield wipers weren't working, only to realize it the next morning when, after spending the night with friends in Clinton, I still had 30 minutes to drive home. In the rain. However, thanks to the Rain-X treatment I'd just gotten done, I got home fine. I surprised my mother by showing up on the doorstep at 8am basically a day early because I told her I wasn't leaving Nashville until Friday morning. She was quite surprised and immediately started fretting about not having a shower yet and the house being a mess. Hello, woman, I used to live there! Like I care! I was just happy to be home!

Sometime between the rehearsal dinner and bridesmaids luncheon, I took my car to a couple of different places to get it looked at. They both told me I "had problems." Right. I knew that. Turns out the wiper motor was blown. It would take all day to fix and I'd never find anyone to work on it on a Saturday. PLUS it was supposed to rain on my drive back Sunday. My A/C has also been out since April, so it made sense that the weather would also try to screw me over.

After going over worst-case scenarios in my head about driving 7 hours in the rain on Sunday and finally talking with my mom about it, she came to my rescue and let me take her car back to Nashville leaving my car to be fixed by someone my Pawpaw recommended. It helps to know people. What could have easily turned out to be a $1000 fix will hopefully be cut in half... Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

So, for now, I'm in this huge, heavy, white SUV that, as of this morning, has a brand new crack in the windshield thanks to some asshole rock. Look out TN drivers, apparently I need to go to confession or something to get rid of this bad car Ju-Ju.