Sweet skies of Sugarland

Friday night my friend Christina took me to see Sugarland in concert!  Sugarland is one of my very favorite groups so I was really excited!   I normally carry the 5th Avenue Thirty- One purse but for the concert I wanted something I could hold closer to my body.  I am married to Captain Safety Pants after all.  So I pulled out my Organizing Shoulder Bag.  I love this bag because I can wear it cross body and it holds a ton of stuff while staying nice and flat.  Plus, with all the pockets you know just where everything is.  I grabbed the About Town Blanket since we were sitting on the lawn at the concert and we were ready to go!   Loved how the About Town Blanket performed.  I saw tons of people struggling to carry big quilts and blankets.  Me, all I had to do was hold my blanket by the handle.  It unrolled and gave us plenty of blanket to sit on.  The back kept us dry and the fleece top was nice and soft.

Now, back to the concert.  It was awesome!  I hadn’t been to a concert in a million years and I’m so glad I got to go to this one. The opening acts were Canaan Smith and Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics.  Canaan Smith was really fun.  Sugarland came on and I was really impressed with how interactive they were with the crowd.  My favorite moment was when Jennifer Nettles stopped the band during “Baby Girl”.  She noticed this little girl in the crowd singing every word.  So she brought her up on stage and they finished the song together!  It was so sweet!  Christina and I both cried!   It was so great!  I can’t wait for their next album!

CSP turns 40! Day 1 of birthday bonanza!

Saturday CSP & I met up with Papa, Gigi, Marc, Sara, Jacob, & Joey at Growler’s Pour House in NoDa for CSP’s birthday lunch.  Growler’s is this cool pub/restaurant that CSP really likes.  I like that it’s next door to the Crepe Cellar.  Papa & Gigi brought the birthday hat and some presents for CSP.   Then much food was ordered.  Wings, beer cheese, pimento cheese, brats, paninis, the works!   We couldn’t eat it all and had to get boxes to go.  Such good food!  The boys came to lunch right after their first basketball games of the season.  Joey had his hair in a fun mohawk!   We stayed about 3 hours and had a great time! I snuck in some 40 candles and gave them to the chef to put in a brownie for CSP.  We all sang and clapped.  Not something you often see in a pub! 

Fore my Papa

For Papa for Father’s Day this year I decided to make him a golf ball cake since he’s a huge golfer.  I’ve never made a golf ball cake before so I was a little nervous.  I baked a cake Saturday night in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl.   I sprayed flour/baking spray into the bowl first and the cake popped right out when it was done.  Perfect!  Then Sunday morning I  carved the top of it (or I guess technically it was the bottom of the batter bowl) and made it more round.   I made cream cheese icing then colored some of it blue and some green and left the rest white.  I made a little flag out of a toothpick and a piece of paper.  Then I iced it.  For the dimples I used the end of a spoon dipped in hot water (so it wouldn’t pull any icing away).  He loved it!

Senioritis

Even though I’ve been out of school for a million years the school year still sort of defines my year.  I just don’t see Christmas as the end of a year.  Maybe it’s because when the kids go back to school it’s the beginning of my favorite season.    I don’t know.  This time of year always reminds me of my senior year in high school.  Going up to the lake on skip day (if you didn’t miss any school days & you had good grades you didn’t have to take your exams so you could skip a day or two.  Can’t remember how many).  Taking the SAT exam.  I took mine just one time, the morning after a fun night out and without the help of an SAT tutor.   I still scored pretty well, thank goodness.  Graduation.  Prom.  All the prom themed tv shows are certainly bringing back memories.  When I was getting my hair done last time there was a boy there getting his prom haircut and eyebrow wax.  Boys in my day certainly didn’t do any manscaping!  I tell ya, how great would it be to go back and have that feeling of practically zero responsibility and your biggest worry is what you’re going to wear to prom or how you’ll score on the SAT?  Sigh.

Talk derby to me

Charlotte Roller Girls

Image via Wikipedia

I attended the season opener double header of the Charlotte Roller Girls.  It was a lot of fun!  Ever since I went to a bout last season with Christina, Gigi & Momo & Michelle have been wanting to go.  So I treated them for Gigi’s Mother’s Day present (Gigi & Momo- Michelle was on her own. 🙂 ).  First we met up with my friends Michelle and Lynda at the wonderful Crepe Cellar in NoDa.  Lynda’s cousins are the chef and pastry chef there!  They were so sweet and sent out an order of their Brie Pesto Fries  and Chili Shrimp  as appetizers.  SO YUMMY!  We noshed on those then ordered our dessert crepes.  Gigi and I both ordered the mascarpone and berries crepe and Momo ordered the Bananas Foster crepe. O.M.G.    I can’t even tell you how good they are.  I want one now.  I want one every single day.   We all had a great time enjoying our meal then we set out to the Grady Cole Center for the Derby!

Even with getting there right after they opened the doors it was still a challenge finding seats together.  It’s just so popular and sells out right away!  It really is a good entertainment value.  Only $10 a ticket for 4 hours of derby!  You pay $10 to see a 2 hour movie!  We got in and found seats and the action began.    Click to enlarge.  I love their cute little outfits.  Frilly skirts, fishnets, etc.    The halftime entertainment was this adorable band called School of Rock.  They were all teenagers and they could jam!  At one point one of the singers was this 17 year old boy.  His mom was sitting next to me.  He said “This one’s for the ladies” and sang “Let’s Get it On”!  In front of his mom!  So funny!  He was great though.

We all had a really fun time.  Michelle and Lynda left a little early to beat the traffic but that meant they missed the proposal!  I wish I’d still had my camera out!  One of the referees proposed to one of the skaters.  So sweet!   We left after that and stopped by IHOP for some late night grub before heading home.  You should check in your city and see if you have a roller derby!   Those girls are tough.  Like Nascar with no cars.  And on skates.  And girl in skirts.  Just go.

An evening with a cute Scotsman

I’m on the Comedy Zone’s email list and the other day I saw they were giving away tickets to Craig Ferguson‘s show.  I replied to the email but my hopes weren’t up.  They sent the email out at 10 am and I didn’t see it until 1 pm so I thought my chances were pretty slim.  But somehow I won!  CSP was scheduled to  close at work so he couldn’t go.  But I remembered that Gigi loves Craig so I called her up.  I picked her up after work and we had dinner at Red Bowl.  Love that place.  Then we made our way to Oven’s Auditorium.  The people watching was pretty top notch.  We ended up with pretty good seats, especially since they were free!    There was an opening guy but I don’t remember his name.  Trust me though, you don’t want to see that dude’s show.  He literally read his jokes from big cards in his hand.  It’s like they just found him on the side of the road and said “Here, read these jokes and we’ll give you $50.”  He was terrible.  Then this giant genie and a little person wheeled out a treasure chest.    Pardon the pics.  No flash photography and I was using my old iPhone.  There were a couple puppets in the treasure chest.

Then finally Craig came out.    He was really cute and funny.  I just love his accent!  It was pretty cool to see him since I’ve seen quite a few of his movies, watched him on the Drew Carey show for so long, and also watched his late night show.   Gigi commented that it must be a LOT of pressure to walk out on stage and it’s just you and a microphone and you have to entertain thousands of people for an evening.  I totally agree.  But my goodness how nice that must feel when they all stand up and cheer at the end!

Just toes

By now you’ve probably read at least one article that discusses the uproar over the ad pictured here that appears in the new J. Crew catalog.  Basically, the company’s president paints her son’s toenails hot pink.  Conservatives and right wingers have gone nuts.  Erin Brown of the right-wing Media Research Center called the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”  Really?

FOX commentator Dr. Keith Albow even went so far as to advise J. Crew’s president Jenna-

“Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid — and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your ‘innocent’ pleasure.”

I just don’t understand it.  It’s toes.  Just toes.  When my nephew Jacob was younger he was very interested in my lip balm.  When he’d see me apply lip gloss or balm he’d say “I want some Shanny yip.”  I loved that he called it yip.  So I’d put some gloss or balm on him.  Guess what?  He’s not in therapy.  It didn’t damage him.  He’s still a great little boy.

I just don’t understand why there’s such outrage over such a small thing.  I mean, really, will pink toenails turn this little J. Crew boy into a mass murderer?  Or a terrorist?  I doubt it.  There are so many serious things going on in the world today that could really use our attention.  So why throw all this negative energy toward what appears to be a mom and son having some fun on a Saturday?

Part 3 of Momo’s 21st Birthday Extravaganza!

Ok, so now you’ve read about dinner and pre-club drinks.  Now it’s time for the main event!  We were the first to be let in to Howl at the Moon when they opened for the public.  I ran to grab a good table and snagged one right up front.  If you’ve never been to Howl at the Moon you are in for a treat!  And if you have been then you understand why it’s so important to grab a good table.  By 10 pm it is standing room only.  Howl at the Moon is a rock and roll dueling piano bar.  I’m not a bar girl by any means but when I first experienced Howl I knew that’s where we needed to celebrate Morgan’s 21st for a few reasons.  1.  It’s not a stand around nursing your drink kind of bar.  You get a show.  A great show.  2. They play songs everyone knows.  From rap to country to classic rock to top 40.  3.  The people are friendly.  Not just the staff, but the patrons.  4. The musicians are really, really talented.  5.  It’s just really fun!  Click on all pics to enlarge.

So we ordered our first round of drinks and I got my camera out.  We all ordered something called a Pink Passion becauseproceeds go to breast cancer research.  What they don’t tell you is how GIANT this drink is!    Look how big that thing is!  It’s sitting next to Shirlee, my purse, for scale.  It was SO good.  We would have drank those all night except we saw the bucket drinks and we knew we needed some of those.    They come with a handful of straws so everyone gets a taste.  Don’t worry, the alcohol kills the germs.  They are yummy!  Note how normal the first few pictures of the evening are.  After a few buckets and a LOT of singing yelling along with the band, the picture quality gets a littlejanky! 

Behind the bar is a big mirrored wall and for a dollar or two you can get them to write a phrase on the mirror.  We snagged the first free phrase.   You can request songs so we put in for Brown Eyed Girl and they called Momo up on stage to dance along for her birthday.    She pulled Ian (one of her roommates) up with her.  My camera got passed around and we took over 300 pictures that night.  Most were of people drinking from the buckets.    At one point this cute girl stopped by our table.  She was wearing a hat and a cute dress and was hugging everyone.  Then she started drinking from our buckets too!  At the end of the night we found out NONE OF US KNEW HER.  We all thought she was friends with one of us but she was just a stranger!  She hung out with us for a good while too!

  As the night went on and the crowd got bigger and drunker, more people ended up on stage.   Even Gigi got up on stage!    There were lots of characters there that night.  Quite a few bachelorette parties, birthday groups, and even some people out celebrating recent wedding engagements.

I haven’t uploaded all of the pictures for a couple reasons.  1. There are only so many pics of people sucking mixed drinks out of a bucket through neon straws that a person should have to see in their lifetime.  B.  Some of these pictures have been sworn to secrecy.  We are all fine, upstanding adults who don’t normally spend our evenings consuming large drinks via bucket.

I will share with you some of my favorites from that night.  First let me tell you, we learned some things about each other that night.  For one, after a couple cocktails Gigi goes from hugging you to ripping your face off.  Exhibit A.  Poor Sara!   Exhibit B.  Poor Allison!   What can I say?  We’re a very affectionate family.  I also learned that our self portraits tend to suffer the later in the evening it gets. Early on:    Post bucket drinking:   Another thing I learned is that we all have some dance moves that we should probably be ashamed of, especially me.   But we all had a BLAST and that’s what counts!  

You can see more pics here.  Coming soon…part 4.  Oh yeah, there’s more.