Monday, August 26, 2013

Me & a Ke$ha Concert

Last week my friend Katie and I journeyed to Milwaukee for a Ke$ha concert. It was something I have wanted to do for a while now (one of my most visited blog posts is an oldie about my love for Ke$ha) but never found the right time to go. It's weird, pushing 40, and going to concerts. I know a few of my friends still do the whole "show" circuit, one that I exhausted in my twenties when I couldn't handle standing up for hours at a time in tiny clubs, inhaling others' cigarette smoke and waiting for a drunk fight to start. In more recent years, my concert-going has involved more seated venues and selective choices (The Monkees recent tours were not to be missed), as well as kid concerts with Romy (We've seen Ella Jenkins three times and Justin Roberts six times, so far). But I really have been dying to see Ke$ha. As a suburban mom (which, I must face the fact that I AM), I don't have many opportunities to go dancing, wear makeup, or, you know, fix my hair. Plus, I seriously love Ke$ha's music. Something about it has connected with me, and I'm still trying to completely understand why. But it makes me so damned happy. And I do love how she encourages people to be themselves, stand up to bullying, and enjoy giant, inflatable penises (well, I don't know if she encourages that, but she embraces it for sure). I love her. She gets a shoutout in my next novel, The F-It List, too.

When I saw that tickets went on sale for a show at a venue without seats (how lame would a Ke$ha show be with seats getting in the way of dancing?) two months after I had the baby, I had to grab them. I recruited Katie, also a school librarian (you may remember Katie from the many murder mysteries we have attended together) as my dance partner in crime, and the night of the show she came to my house to pick me up. We took an hour and a half to get ready, although I can't explain what took so long. Maybe it was that I had to breastfeed Dean several times before I left. Maybe it was that I had to put makeup on for the first time in years (I couldn't not wear makeup to a Ke$ha concert). Maybe it was gathering all of the crap I needed to bring in order to pump breast milk in the car. Behold:

That's me with my Pump in Style breast pump (the actual name of the pump, hilariously) and a bag full of stuff. I had to be prepared.

We finally left the house and stopped for dinner at one of our favorite Milwaukee haunts, AJ Bombers. We snagged a table under one of the peanut bombers, and they sent it down so the peanuts landed in our bowl. I pulled out this lucky guy:
A three bagger! Definitely a good sign.

Before we got to the venue, we had to find a place to park where I could pump breast milk. I had this vision of a police officer knocking on my window and asking what I was doing, and me having to expose myself just to prove I wasn't hiding something else underneath my cover. Luckily (sadly?) it didn't happen, and the milk was stored safely in the trunk.

When we arrived at the venue, Katie and I were nervous. I thought for sure I would be the oldest person there. And there were a lot of youngins in tiny clothing covered in glitter. There were also some delightful, slightly older women folk waiting in line for the bathroom. One of them had the brilliant foresight to hide vodka bags in her bra! (Please detect my sarcasm.)

We eventually scoped out a spot in the back of the "club" (too big, really, to be a club, but it was a big open space). We timed it so we'd miss the opening acts (we are too old to hang out for that long), and Ke$ha started about ten minutes after we staked our claim. Before that, however, a delightful young lady passed out nearby, and as her friends tried to revive her she puked all over the floor. Awwwwww. I wanted to walk over to her and ask her if it was worth it, since she wouldn't even be able to see the show, but I didn't want to be near the puke. Throughout the night it was delightful watching people slip on it. I much preferred slipping on the glitter everywhere. Here's a picture of me and my Ke$ha-adorned fingernails (which, almost a week after the concert, I really need to take off):

It was insanely hot inside. Like, I had to keep wiping my face on my t-shirt just so I could see. I think eventually they kicked the a/c up a notch, but no matter. We danced the night away. Here is a tiny shot of Ke$ha (and a hint of how far we were from the stage):

Here is a storm of glitter falling from the ceiling (Heavenly, really):

And here is me looking like a 38 year-old at a Ke$ha show:
I had envisioned a picture of me covered in glitter as it swirled around me, but we were a little too far back to get hit. Ke$ha and the band were fabulous. I wish I could see her a little better, and she didn't play long enough or all of the songs I love. Still, we danced the entire night, and no one puked directly on us. Plus, there was one woman pushing seventy years-old standing nearby. Which means I have at least thirty more years  available to attend Ke$ha shows. Now what did I do with that peanut...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I'm noticing that my next novel, The F-It List, is getting some pretty great reviews and attention around the internet (the web? What are we supposed to call it these days?). I guess. I mean, it feels silly to even type that statement. Silly for two reasons: 1) I feel like an asshole telling you that I'm looking for bits on my own books, and 2) it's not like it means anything. That sounded blucky and complainy, but that's not what I meant [I have used the word MEAN way too many times already in this blog post]. Seeing as The F-It List is my fifth novel, it's very hard to get jazzed about the possibility of having a real "hit" anymore. Like, a real hit, where it's on bestseller lists and people are fighting over the movie rights and I make enough money from it to go on a vacation without fear of not having money to buy a new refrigerator if we someday need one (did I just jinx my refrigerator?). It's fun to think about, though, that possibility. Because, aside from refrigerators, I like to buy stupid things without guilt. Such as these three shirts that I just HAD to buy for my kids (now that I have two kids, I look at clothes with longevity, you see):

I am laughing heartily at myself that these are my impulse buys, although I am a little disappointed in the Mr. Rogers one. That's not as funny as the other two. Damn, that Mr. T one gets me every time. Imagine all of the stupid t-shirts my kids could own if The F-It List hits it big! Because that's what important as an author: whether or not your book makes enough money to keep your kids rolling in ridiculous t-shirts.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Balancing Act

I was much better at balancing things before I had kids. Now, the only thing I seem to be good at balancing is how guilty I feel about not giving each person in my life equal attention. That was the story for me at the Chicago Comic-Con, or Wizard World (official title). My original plan was to meet Jason Priestley and get a picture in order to complete my 90210 Trifecta [not a word in spellcheck, but it is in real life, right? Right?]. Alas and alack, that did not happen. I did see Jason Priestley, oh yes, as he was walking into his panel and I was sitting in the back of the room with my family, our lunchboxes splayed over the chairs and Dean, under a cover, drinking from my boob. Jason looked over at me, nodded, and said, "Hey." Thus ended my Jason Priestly interaction. [Note: That is the second nod-interaction from a celebrity I have had while breastfeeding during a comic-con. The first happened four years ago at the San Diego Comic-Con while I was hoping to meet Alex Winter, aka Bill S. Preston, Esq. At least we managed a picture (albeit blurry) later on with him.]

My family watched a bit of the Priestley panel, until we finished our lunches. Then Romy declared she needed to find The Joker, and Dean promptly pooped. Trifecta FAIL (although, kind of its own trifecta, no?). We were already so late to the con, due to how freakishly long it takes us to pack up, go to the bathroom, Dean needs to eat, rinse and repeat. Then the parking was a fiasco. By the time we arrived, there were only four hours left until the con ended. In that time, Dean ate twice, Romy entered a kid costume contest, and no Joker (except a really creepy one, and not in the classically creepy Joker way) was to be found. We made what purchases we could in the tiny time, and then, peace out. It was only after we got in the car that I realized the trifecta fail, as well as the fact that we didn't take any pictures of Dean at his very first Comic-Con (he slept almost the whole time anyway).

However, we did experience this:
The kids' costume contest was phenomenal! The host, apparently someone from a reality show I've never watched, was truly delightful with the kiddos. Romy was explosively excited, and every kid won in the end (complete with a prize table filled with crap to choose from!). She's the Robin next to the Jawa, by the way.

This post is going to be completely disjointed due to the fact that I have been writing it over three sit-downs. Another part of the balancing act I haven't quite figured out is how to get out a complete thought. Anywho, we chose to attend Wizard World on Sunday, the final day of the con. Matt and I both have felt in the past that Sundays are usually rather sad days at conventions, when the talent and sellers are so over it and ready to pack things up and head home. This is particuaraly evident at the San Diego Comic-Con when the deafening buzz has turned into only a slightly unbearable din. It wasn't much different here in Chicago. We ran through the halls [don't get me started about how they changed things up this year to have two floors of halls instead of one big one]as vendors packed up their tables. Blech. But Sunday is "Kids' Day," hence the costume contest. How do we choose which day to go on next year? Matt and I like the business and buzz of Saturday, not to mention how many more people there are dressed up to appease Romy's need for meeting superheroes. And yet, if we go on Saturday, we miss the costume contest. I guess we'll see what happens next year. I wonder if my brain will be any less scrambled by then. Or maybe it will be more so. Holy mind melt, Batman!

Monday, August 05, 2013


I have been waiting hours for Baby Dean to wake up. Naturally, I was up way early, and both kids slept in. Sigh. I need more sleep. The bags under my eyes have bags under their eyes! Thank you, Ladies and Germs, I'll be here all night! Sigh.

It's that time of year-- when my family prepares to attend the Chicago Comic-Con, not much like the massive San Diego one (seriously, I think they have almost completely cut out actual comics at this thing) but a lot closer to home. This year's hilarious guest meeting will hopefully come from Jason Priestley. I am making my way though the 90210 boys. Someday maybe I'll get to meet BAG (that's how we refer to Brian Austin Green in my house). Or James Eckhouse. Or Rush Sanders (not his real name, although it should be). As I do every year on my blog, it's time to revisit Chicago Comic-Con star sightings of yore. I know you've seen these before, but indulge me. I'm tired, I look like shit, and I guarantee that before I have a chance to finish this blog post there will be a baby on my boob. Let's enjoy these pictures/videos from my less haggard days:

This was too delicious. Ian Ziering was hilarious, and it was his idea to dance with me. He had very little patience when I had no idea what I was doing. Or maybe it was because I kept calling him, "Steve."

Last year, Matt and I met Luke Perry. Romy refused to go near him (wise choice?). He was super mellow. I bet he'd be fun to eat a small meal or light snack with.

This was the all-time greatest moment at any comic-con EVER. I don't see how anything can top it. It's me meeting the long-lost (fictional) love of my life, Noah Hathaway, AKA Atreyu from "The Neverending Story." 

This video will live in infamy (IN MY BRAIN) as one of the most romantic. magical moments of the21st Century.

Bring it on, Priestley.