It’s only rock and roll… but I love everything about it!

You know how the mystical entity known as they “they” always say that as soon as you stop looking for something, you find it?

Well, it finally happened for me.

Yes, boys and girls, that most amazing, magical thing that could possibly happen to a person happened to me on Friday night.

No, I’m not talking about love. I’m single and probably will be for life unless they eventually make it legal for a crazy cat lady to marry her seventeen cats. Which in some states, might actually happen before gay marriage, but that’s a topic for another blog and another day. (For the record I have no cats. I hate cats. Which is why it’s truly horrible that my destiny is to become a crazy cat lady. Pray for me.)

So what happened to me on Friday?

Only the best and most wonderful thing that can happen in my world!

I went to New Jersey to see the Gaslight Anthem. And I wasn’t looking for it, I wasn’t expecting it, hell, I wasn’t even THINKING about it. But it happened.

Bruce Springsteen popped up on stage at a show that I was at in Asbury Park.

And I was front and center.

Okay, slightly off to the right of center. But close enough.

Several very reliably sources told me that he was there that night before he came out on stage.  But I was relying on Bruce’s own dictum to “Trust none of what you hear, and less of what you see,” because I had been burned by rumors before.

Of course, I probably should have been able to guess that Bruce would be there, because Friday was just one of those incredible, too-good-to-be-true, perfect days when the stars all align and everything works out exactly as it should.

There were no hiccups on the way to Asbury Park at all. The ICC is finally open in Maryland, shaving half an hour off the time it takes to get there. And even Delaware cooperated! Worst-state-in-the-union Delaware got its act together in time for my trip to Asbury Park. Somehow, in what can only be described as a Festivus miracle, the road work that has been going on since the dawn of time in Delaware seems to be FINISHED.

And even more miraculous, the toll plaza of doom that always caused traffic to slow to the point where you actually start moving backwards has been replaced with a high-speed EZ Pass. Granted, I’m sure when I eventually get to hell (and trust me, that’s where I’m going when I die), the gates of hell will look nothing like Rodin imagined and will instead be the exact toll plaza that used to ruin all road trips through Delaware, but I’ll worry about that when I get there.

Seriously, after Friday, I’m thinking about letting Delaware remain a state when I take over the world. The state clearly read my earlier blog about my plan to revoke its statehood and is making the changes necessary to ensure its survival. And I respect that effort.

And thanks to those changes in Delaware, we made it to Asbury Park in record time, even with a Superman-style stop along the way for Lynnlee and me to change out of our road-trip yoga pants and t-shirts into the glamorous rock and roll goddesses you see at a show. Seriously, we walk into the rest stop as Clark Kent and we emerge as Megan Fox. It’s amazing what a little glitter eyeliner, mascara, and cleavage can do.

Which is also probably how we managed to make it to the very front of the pit, despite not being the first people in line, but I don’t question these things. When the stars align, you let it happen. (Ana, that was for you!)

Of course, even in my rock goddess mode, I feel a little out of place at a Gaslight Anthem show. Mostly because I’m neither fifteen years old, nor do I have approximately 863 tattoos. Seriously. The band might sing about “your hightop sneakers and your sailor tattoos,” in “Old White Lincoln,” but they seem to have left out any mention of the skulls, mermaids, song lyrics, and the one really freaky tattoo that I saw on some girl’s chest that looked EXACTLY like my dead grandma.  Seriously.  It scared me.

And with how tightly packed that pit was, I’m really glad tattoos aren’t contagious because I’m pretty sure I would have caught a whole lot of them from the people around me. Piercings too. Like I didn’t know you COULD pierce your eyelid or chin dimple or pinky finger. But I learned Friday night that apparently there is nothing attached to your body that can’t be tattooed and/or pierced.

I’m also pretty sure that I now have internal bleeding from the moshers. I’ve never understood the appeal of moshing. Like I’m happy to dance at a show. And I understand the appeal of wanting to be as close to the action on stage as possible. But I’ve never felt the need to hurl my entire body at the people around me as hard as is humanly possible for the sake of showing my enjoyment at a concert.

I guess I’m just weird.

Especially considering that the old Asian couple behind us were seriously getting into it. They were there with their teenage daughter, and I felt sorry for her because I was positive that when the moshing started, they were going to yank that girl out of there faster than you could pierce an eyelid. But Asian dad was moshing like a pro. Like he actually was. And I think I even saw Asian mom crowd surfing at one point.

But I forgot all about the moshers and crowd surfers and the chick who was busy trying to tattoo the Gaslight Anthem logo onto the back of my shoulder when Brian Fallon told us that he had a Christmas gift for us. And somehow, collectively, the entire audience’s Bruce-dar went off.

I think Lynnlee still has nail marks in her arm from how hard I grabbed her.

It was only one song. And it honestly had nothing to do with why I was there that night, because the Gaslight Anthem is unequivocally my favorite band in the world after Bruce. But it was one of those moments that absolutely shifted my outlook on everything.

Clarence is still gone and none of us mere fans have any real idea of how Bruce is going to handle that for this next tour. Hell, we don’t even have a hint of what the next album is going to be called or any confirmed US tour dates. Just a promise that they’re coming.

But whatever happens, I’m ready.

Because when Bruce shows up to play in Asbury, all is right in my world.

And so, with a hoarse voice, massive internal moshing injuries, and a half-finished tattoo that looks like the one Steve-O got while off-roading, I return to my normal, non-rock goddess life, to await the new year of albums and concerts and touring, oh my!

But after Friday night, I can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring.

In the words of the Gaslight Anthem, “Bring it On”…

Advertisements

The real origin of Valentine’s Day–hint, look at its initials

And it’s that oh-so-wonderful day of the year when I want to punch most people I see in the face.

No, I don’t mean every day that ends in “y” (am I really that cranky that often? Geez… I might need anger management!). I am, of course, referring to Valentine’s Day.

I know, I know, surprise, surprise, the single girl who’s probably going to die alone with seventeen cats (which is truly a fate worse than death, because as anyone who knows me knows, I REALLY hate cats) hates Valentine’s Day. But I’m about to break girl code here and let you guys in on a secret: most girls hate Valentine’s Day even more than you do.

Before I explain, I do want to point out that there are two major groups of girls who are exceptions to this rule. The first group is easy to spot because they have WAY too many stuffed animals in their bedroom. They also have an abnormal attachment to the color pink and have at least one picture of a kitten on their wall. And they’re over the age of six. If you find yourself dating one of these girls, you’d better go all out for Valentine’s Day.


Like seriously, flowers, giant stuffed bears, candy, jewelry, engagement rings, a yacht ready to take you to a Greek isle, etc. Even if you’ve only been dating for a week. Anything less than this will result in a temper tantrum that would make the apocalypse seem minor. But I have no sympathy for you in this case. Because you ignored the warning signs and CHOSE to date this girl in February. You made your own pink, stuffed-animal lined bed. Now enjoy the suffering that Valentine’s Day entails for you. And just think, you get to do it all over again in 364 days.


The second group of girls who love Valentine’s Day are the girls who are in a relationship but have primarily single friends. The reason that these girls love Valentine’s Day so much is the same reason why they torture their friends with ridiculous hazing activities as soon as they are engaged and pick seventeen of their closest friends to be their bridesmaids. It’s because 364 days of the year, they’re jealous of their single friends who can come and go as they please and don’t have to deal with you leaving the toilet seat up. So when they find one day (or two, if it’s a year when they’re getting married) to feel superior, they love it. So if you’re with one of these girls, you’re expected to treat her as if she were the pink/stuffed-animal/kitten loving type of girl, or else face the consequences.

You’ve been warned.

The majority of us, however, recognize that it’s pointless.

That being said, if you’re in a relationship, you’re still expected to make a tremendously flashy show of how much you love us. Not because we need that reassurance. But because we’re hugely competitive and if Suzy from the cubicle next to ours gets a better present than we did, she gets to lord it over us for the next year. And we do NOT want to let that happen. So just like diamonds and penis size (sorry—just being honest here!), when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, bigger is ALWAYS better.

But now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a moment to mock the holiday’s origin. According to Wikipedia, which, as we all know, is NEVER wrong, Valentine’s Day began in 1832 as a day on which all sexual partners were expected to be able to confess to any “delicate” diseases that they may have picked up without retribution. Hence the initials, VD. Which, for those of you born after 1980, is what people used to call STDs.

In fact, this is where Valentine’s Cards came from. Because some people didn’t want to flat out SAY, “I want you to know that you may now have Chlamydia.” So they tried to come up with clever and witty ways to warn their partners that they were probably now infected. That’s also why candy, flowers, and presents began to go with those cards, because it’s harder to get mad at the person who gave you syphilis if they also gave you flowers.

(Not really. I think I’d be just as mad. But in theory, I guess the presents could help. In theory.)

So it’s a little-known fact that the first “Roses are red, violets are blue” poem REALLY read, “Roses are red, violets are blue, a hooker gave me the clap, and now you have it too.”

The classic card that Ralph Wiggam gave Lisa Simpson saying, “I choo-choo-choose you,” originated as “I choo-choo-chose someone else first and wound up with crabs.”

Not quite as sweet, but far more informative.

Even William Shakespeare’s classic “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” didn’t start as innocent as it wound up. He originally said, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? After we fooled around, it burns when I pee.” (It’s true, ask Wikipedia!)

More modern sentiments of love came from these older Valentine confessional cards. Contrary to popular belief, 50 Cent took his “I love you like a fat kid loves cake,” from Emily Dickinson’s “I love you like a fat kid loves cake, but unlike you, cake never gave me herpes.”

So how did we get from confessing the diseases gathered from infidelity to the supposed most romantic day of the year?

Easy. A little company called Hallmark launched a massive cover-up conspiracy so all-inclusive that Amelia Earhart’s last flight, JFK’s assassination, the Roswell aliens, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the disappearance of the Mayans are all a part of it.

I’d tell you more, but then Hallmark would have to kill me.

In fact, since I started writing this, Wikipedia’s Valentine’s Day entry has mysteriously changed to some made-up story about “Saint Valentine.” Right. Because THAT sounds real.

In summary, it’s a pointless holiday. But I’ll take flowers, candy, jewelry, shoes, or any other presents you’d like to give me any day of the year. Including today.