Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A moderately cautionary tale

A little backstory: One of Kelly's BFF's has a dad who is a mortgage banker by day, hard rock tribute band front man by night. He and his wife are good friends of ours, and our daughters are still great friends, even though they're in different grades, and more than 2 years apart in age. A couple of years back, he invited us to see his band perform on a local stage, and we went to the concert. It was a great show, and i was kicking myself that I didn't have a camera. I took a few photos on my phone, and shared them with him, and he was very gracious (as was the band), and I got a couple of FaceBook friend requests from various people that we had met at the concert. I swore that the next time, I would bring a better camera!

Fast forward to last week. His band is playing again, and i just HAPPEN to have rented the spectacular Nikon 70-200mm f/2 lens for a different gig. Hooray, I will get extra use out of the rental, I say, and I get out my biggest purse, and put that bad boy in the bottom of the purse, and strap a teeny 50mm f/1.8 lens on the camera for the 'getting in the door' portion of the evening.

We get to the concert early, and have no problems getting choice seats in the balcony, where we settle back and get ready to do an hour of people watching before the concert starts. We're there with friends, and we're having a grand time labeling people (because I am all about being judgmental). "There's the woman who's gonna let her shirt slide off her shoulders just a BIT too much after 2 more drinks." "That chick is gonna do something embarrassing before the night is done" "That guy looks like a shop teacher from 1950's middle America. He looks so out of place!" "See her high heels? She's gonna break her ankle before the night's over." "That is the most outlandish cleavage I have EVER seen" (followed immediately by "That's not cleavage. that's fat") etc, etc.

Soon, the concert was beginning. It was a grand show. There was a band on before our friend's band, and I warmed up by taking photos of them on stage. Just testing out the gear, of course.

And then I got a little bold, and moved away from my balcony view, and went down onto the dance floor. The bouncers didn't seem at all fazed by me. In fact, they held the drunken mobs out of the way, so I could get a better view. I guess this time, the giant lens said "I'm with the band" instead of "I'm a poseur that doesn't deserve your time". I liked it.

Soon, it was time for them to get off the stage, break it down, and set up for our friend's band. Fun times. By this point, the 'shirt-slippage chick' had not failed to entertain, and Plaid-shirted Shop Teacher dude was on his fourth beer (that we could count), still standing at the edge of the stage, and making devil horns. It was SO incongruous.

Ah, here they are!

Their lead guitar guy makes all the guitars for the band. He's quite the craftsman.

Bass player seems very Los Lobos to me.

Rhythm guitar guy is channeling Santana

I love coloured lights!

Drum bokeh!

It was getting to the end of the night, when suddenly "Lady who wouldn't be able to hold her booze" staggered towards the stage, and managed to climb up before the bouncers caught her. She was rocking out, and our friend was doing his best to be good natured about it. He kept on singing, while she gyrated, and then started stripping. Ok, she didn't strip totally. But she did take her sparkly scarf off, and wrap it around his neck.

This is what I like to call the "I am as FAR away from you as I can be without taking my feet off my mark." photo.

At this point, the bouncers managed to gently lead her off the stage, and escort her out of the building, everyone cheered wildly, and the music continued. We were in the last song, anyways, so it wasn't like she was gonna miss out on too much action.

Apparently, though, she had come with a 'date', who took offense, and followed the bouncers out of the theater.

When we left the venue only a few minutes later, it was to a scene of much activity for 1am. There were police cars, and lots of action on the sidewalk. And there was Overprotective Intoxicated Boyfriend giving the police officers a piece of his mind. "That bouncer is the one that should be arrested! He took a swing at me!"

Well, I couldn't resist! I had the camera with the low light lens, and I hadn't put the lens cap back on, so I just shot from the hip as we walked by the action. Ken was having kittens that I was going to get in trouble, but I just fired off a few shots as I walked by. Nobody was any the wiser. I didnt' even know if they would work. But lo and behold! One did!

Later that night, I couldn't resist, and when I was posting photos for the band to Facebook, I added this shot, tagging it with "Over protective Intoxicated Boyfriend" and "Friendly Bouncer" and "Diligent Police Officer"

That photo got a TON of comments. And lots of LIKES, and it was a hoot to watch the conversation. One guy couldn't get enough of the shot. First it was just a LOL. Then it was a LMFAO. Then he was "like"ing the comment that I should tag "overprotective intoxicated boyfriend", and then he was saying "That would have been TOO MUCH to see! Great shot!"

And then I thought "Hey, wait a minute. Who is this guy commenting on this photo?" When I friended him two years ago after the concert, I'd thought he was the band's drummer, but at the concert, it was obvious that the drummer was a completely different person. I went back to his profile (his profile photo was a pair of drumsticks, and he always posted on my wall about the concert information, hence the confusion), and when I finally found a photo of him...?

HE WAS OVERPROTECTIVE DRUNK BOYFRIEND, who is in the process of being detained by the police.

About an hour later, after I'd called my friend (the band front-man) who had indeed confirmed that my suspicions were correct (and had added "He's your FB friend? We all blocked him AGES AGO!") Overprotective Intoxicated Boyfriend must have sobered up, and realized that it was HIM IN THE PHOTO!

Suddenly, he cleared all of his "like" tags, and erased all of his comments on the photo.

I was mortified.

But at the same time? I couldn't stop laughing like a HYENA!

What are the odds?

Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Make sure you KNOW WHO YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS ARE.

This is a public service announcement from someone who should KNOW BETTER.

(*also, modestly amusing: Did anyone else notice that Overprotective Intoxicated Boyfriend is only wearing one shoe?)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

French Exchange

Skip got into the car this afternoon with a silly little grin on his face.

He likes to pretend that he is this aloof guy that has deep thoughts, and never speaks, but I see his face, and it is betraying him.

On the outside, he is Mr "I am not interested in anything outside of math and computer gaming", but I see that he really is quite taken with the thought that he will probably get to go to France next year with his class, and things that are happening in the next little while are paving the way.

You see, today he got to PICK his Exchange Student. The information packets came to the school this week, and in class today the teacher read out the letters that the 15 students from France had written to introduce themselves. So when Skip got into the car with this little smirk on his face, he was quick to reach into his backpack, and pull out this fat info packet.

So, next month, we will be hosting a boy named Remy. He is almost 15, and has an older sister and a younger sister. He plays football (soccer for the uninitiated Americans), and he likes computers and video games. He's allergic to pets (probably a big bonus in Skip's eyes), and his family looks like the typical 'beautiful people' you might see in a French magazine. I'm not kidding! His parents could be movie stars. Maybe they are! I'm probably nearly as excited as Skip is. I've been on Google maps, looking up the place where Remy is from (Bayonne, France), and am seeing if I can find street-view of the area around where he lives. Now I'm composing an email (in my head) to send to his mother, letting her know about our family, and how excited we are to host him.

Kelly took one look at the packet, and said "He's cute. And he's not THAT much older than me... Hey! If I take French in high school, I could go visit him, right?"

Good grief!

But now I'm off to use my limited French skills, and the mad genius of Google Translate to compose a welcome letter to Remy's mom.

I'm such a nerd.

Anyways. Now I also want to do a big purge of all the crap in our house, so we don't look like hoarders when he comes to visit.

I've got 4 weeks.

He arrives on April 7th.

This choir-piano gig is really kicking me in the butt.

I'm away from home so much, and more and more I feel like we live in a dump. I need to schedule in time to do housework, because this whole "I'll do it when I get to it" is just not happening for me. I honestly do NOT know how actual working mothers do ANYTHING. My hat is so much off to you!


Have some photos:

Kelly had a few friends over on the weekend. And I'm currently renting a great 24-70mm f/2.8 lens that i needed to test out with FIREWORKS!

And Nate took this opportunity to light one of the big flying flower spinning-fireworks-of-doom. What an eye-opener. I'm glad we didnt' burn down the house. Enough said. Heh.

Kelly's basketball team is coached by two college ball players, and the team was invited to come to their coaches' final home game of the season, and play at half time. While the women were in the locker room, several men from the men's team coached and reffed the girls. It was a hoot to watch. The girls were so excited to be on a real court that they had trouble putting on their game faces. Big grins were the order of the day, whether you were on offense or defense. They just split the team in half, and had half wearing the jerseys, and the other half wearing white t-shirts. Of course, Kelly took that opportunity to lose her school shorts, so she had to borrow a pair of Nate's leftover from the summer. Hooray for younger brothers that are the same size as you.

Here is one of the coaches, going up for a lay-up. This was her final game for the team, as she's a senior, and leaving the school in May. Man, she was fun to watch. She really pulled out all the stops:

And here is the other coach, after getting fouled.

These two women were great role models for the team. I am very happy with Kelly's basketball experience this year, even though they have lost every game (except for the first one).

And now a last photo.

We went to the beach yesterday.

I know. I shouldn't say anything. Don't hate.

I'm still doing the photo challenge. I've missed a few days, but otherwise, I'm still in the game. This was shot for yesterday's "Make a photo that features water". Today's is "photograph a simple shape". Um...?

And I would talk about the fun in Chinatown (I feel like such a tease when I say this, but I *do* want to tell the stories, and this way, I keep reminding myself to do it... eventually), but Nate is asking to make "puffs", and it's time to put the dinner in the oven , too. Man, I didn't think I was all THAT busy, until I realized that i haven't played Bejeweled Blitz for about 2 weeks. And I used to play 100 (or more) games of it a day.

Cold Turkey. It works.