Best Day EVER!!

So one week ago today was my 31st birthday aka the BEST DAY EVER.

Now you are probably wondering why I was so excited about turning 31. Well I wasn’t so much excited about that as I was about meeting my favorite singer Andrew McMahon!

Cheryl had found tickets for the Jack’s Mannequin reunion show on our birthday, so obviously we had to go. Then 2 weeks before on Instagram they announced a meet and greet. WHAT!!

Jack's Mannequin

We got there earlier than we needed to, but I was ok with that. Luckily it was warmer out.

The meet and greet started later than we thought, but it was worth it. We got to go watch sound check first.

Jack's Mannequin

I have never had a seat so close!

Jack's Mannequin

Then after sound check we got to meet Andrew and get pictures.

Jack's Mannequin

While waiting in line I realized I have been listening to Andrew (and all this bands) for 15 years!!

Jack's Mannequin

BEST DAY EVER!!

After the meet and greet we got food and then waited for the show. We had gotten VIP tickets for the show which means we had a separate section upstairs.

Jack's Mannequin

I am so glad we did. The pit was PACKED!

Jack's Mannequin

They played the whole Everything in Transit album. I was rocking out to every single song :) It was an awesome show.

Andrew even crowd surfed!

Jack's Mannequin

I am so glad we shelled out the additional money. It was definitely worth it on my birthday. I also still cannot believe I got to meet Andrew!

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It’s Turkey Lurkey Time

This past week was a short one because of Thanksgiving. We got out of work a little early, but that did not change all the traffic on the roads.

Turkey Weekend

For the past few years we have done a Friendsgiving where we have Turducken. I got to Ray’s house around 7. We didn’t eat until around 9:00 because the bird was taking a long time. As always, though, the food was delicious.

Turkey Weekend

A few of our friends have kids and their pack and play just looked so comfy after eating all that turkey.

Turkey Weekend

On Thanksgiving we helped our mom make food and then my aunt and uncle came over. We didn’t have too much food so we wouldn’t overeat, but I always do. After we ate Cheryl and I went for a run.

Cheryl convinced me to do the Runners World Run Streak. You have to run at least one mile a day, every day, from Thanksgiving to New Years. Running after dinner was not the best idea, but we did a mile.

On Friday we decided to skip Black Friday shopping. I have been working on keeping myself to a budget. Instead we helped our mom with yard work (leaves galore) and then we put up outdoor Christmas decorations since it was so nice. After that we went to our cousins house to see the new baby. Then we met up with Cindy, Ralph and Marissa for dinner.

The day didn’t even end there!

After dinner we went to Exit Strategy. It’s one of those escape from the room places. My friends have been doing a bunch of them and we wanted to try it.

Turkey Weekend

We won! It was nerve-wracking, but a lot of fun.

On Saturday we went to the last Rutgers tailgate.

Turkey Weekend

It was actually pretty warm out, but eventually started raining.

Turkey Weekend

We went to the game until half time. When we left Rutgers was winning, but they eventually lost :(

We left the game early because Mark, Jill, Cheryl and myself drove back to Philly for a concert.

Turkey Weekend

We went to see Andrew McMahon at The Fillmore. The venue was awesome. We went upstairs to the balcony section (and the bar) and got great standing area spots.

Turkey Weekend

Turkey Weekend

Andrew is my all-time favorite artist. He is always amazing in concert. I started listening to him when he was the lead singer of Something Corporate, then he started a new band called Jack’s Mannequin and now he is a solo artist.

Turkey Weekend

My life goal is to meet him one day.

Turkey Weekend

After the show we went to Bottle Bar and then headed home.

On Sunday we got up, hungover, and ran 3 miles. Then we went to lunch at The Blue Duck.

All in all a great weekend!

Now it’s Monday :( Try to pull through everyone!

This Night’s A Perfect Shade of Dark Blue

So last Friday after work I headed up to Stroudsburg, PA (my college town) with some friends to see my favorite singer Andrew McMahon.

Andrew was the lead singer of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin and is now on the road as a solo artist.

We got to Stroudsburg around 7pm and headed to my favorite bar Flood’s for dinner and drinks. The show started at 8pm, but there were two opening acts so we didn’t rush.

Andrew McMahon Concert

Andrew McMahon Concert

The concert was at the Sherman Theater. It’s a nice venue and I was surprised to see they had seats out (removable ones) and there were a lot of people sitting down.

Andrew McMahon Concert

We even relaxed for a little bit before Andrew came on.

It was crowded, but not at the same time, which was nice. We found a nice spot down near the stage, but I didn’t feel like I was being squished. Andrew came on and was flawless. I seriously love his ability to rock out on a piano.

Andrew McMahon Concert

He did a lot of songs from his new solo album In The Wilderness, but also a bunch of stuff from Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin which made me so happy.

At one point he even jumped down into the crowd to sing and dance. That turned into chaos. I tried to get close to him, but I am short and I couldn’t get anywhere near him.

Andrew McMahon Concert

Andrew is an amazing performer. He just loves to perform and makes you love it too. Back in the days of Something Corporate he would always stand on his piano and even though he is using a different one now he ended the show perfectly.

Andrew McMahon Concert

I hope he comes back around to the area soon! My goal is still to meet him one day. A girl can dream!

Apple iPods…What are they worth?

So every morning I watch NBC 4 news while getting ready for work. One news story they mentioned this morning caught my attention. It was about iPods….

Apple has been making iPods since 2001. I mean I really can’t believe that the first one was only made in 2001! That’s only 13 years ago! The original iPods were not as popular as Apple products are today. I didn’t get one the bandwagon until my sophomore year of college in 2004. At the time I finally got my first Apple computer (a Mac mini) and all the accompanying Apple software. My first iPod was the new iPod classic with a color screen. It has 20GB of storage on it and could fit most of my music. It looked like a brick, but I loved it!

In 2007 my music collection had grown exponentially. My friends and I all shared music and I wanted to have ALL my music with me at all time. I decided to upgrade and get the newest iPod with 160GB of storage. This new iPod was amazing compared to my older one. The interface was much more advanced as well as the graphics for album covers. You could also put video on it.

After I graduated college I started running. All my music was on my iPod classic and even though it was smaller and lighter than my original iPod, it was still heavy to carry around. I decided to invest in a running iPod, the iPod Nano. It was the 4th generation of iPod Mini, but it came in yellow and it was small. It only had 4GB of storage, but it was enough for the music I wanted to run to. I bought an arm band and wore my new iPod Mini with pride.

After a particularly sunny and hot race, I had a HORRIBLE iPod armband tan line. It took months for it to go away and I decided I needed something even smaller that I could hide and not have to wear an armband. So of course I invested in the newer (and cheaper) iPod shuffle. It clipped right onto my clothes so no armband necessary! It fit just enough music to listen to while running.

After the iPhone came out my iPods went to gather dust in a drawer. I had everything I needed all in one device. Why carry multiple ones around, right?

So you want to know why I told you my iPod buying story? Well this morning the news was talking about how old iPods (especially the classic) are going for $100s of dollars on Ebay and Amazon! When I heard that I was like hmmm…I think I still have all my old iPods around here somewhere.

iPods

Low and behold I realized I still had EVERY SINGLE ONE. I mean back when I was buying these there was no trade-in program like they have now.

My oldest iPods classic doesn’t turn on. A screen with a folder pops up and it says to go to Apple.com/ipod/support lol. My 6th generations iPod classic still works amazing. All my music is still on it too! I used to keep it in my car for long road trips. Even though my iPhone holds music, it can’t hold ALL my music and sometimes you just want to mix it up.

I am seriously contemplating putting that one on line to sell. What do you think!?! I checked online because I know Target does an electronics buyback program, but they will only give me $27 for it.

I never thought something that I owned would ever be considered “vintage” or valuable in my lifetime!

Summer Weekends

So I did not have a chance to post yesterday. It was not because I was busy or anything…I reached my image space maximum. Now I don’t have a crazy amount of blog posts, but the ones I do have a picture heavy. I have never really bothered sizing all my photos a certain size, even though I should have. Instead of paying the $99 to upgrade (because I’m broke) I decided to pull down and resize ALL my blog post images and replace them. That took ALL NIGHT, but now it’s done and I went from having used 3GB of space to just 461Mb. Crazy! It won’t last forever, but it lets me post again.

Crossfit
Crossft has been going amazingly well. Cheryl and I reached a milestone last week. We can now do box jumps! Some people might be like…so. Well I am short (5 ft 2 in) so the box is taller than my knees. Try convincing yourself to jump in the air to land on a platform that is taller than your knees…not easy.

Crossfit Box Jumps

Our crossfit even posted our accomplishment!

Zac Brown Band
On Thursday this week I went to my first country concert in a while. Two years ago we got the Country Mega Ticket so we were going to shows every few weeks. I honestly felt like an alcoholic by the end of the summer. I think I burned myself out. Zac Brown Band was playing in New Jersey at PNC in Holmdel and a bunch of my friends asked if we wanted to go. I of course said yes!

I worked from home on Thursday so we could leave as soon as I was done and hit less traffic. It helped, but the lots were still pretty full when we got down there. Jill bypassed the first lot (even though they were yelling at her) and we found closer spots to the entrance. We parked and tailgated by the car.

Zac Brown Concert

We decided to go inside when they opened the doors since there were a lot of us and we wanted to find a good spot on the lawn. We had drank a decent amount of beer outside (and we got sandwiches for dinner), but once I start I like to keep going. Cheryl luckily had cash and got me a beer.

Zac Brown Concert

There was an opening act who was pretty good, but I don’t remember his name. The one problem with drinking is it makes you have to go to the bathroom and man were those lines long. The first time we went (I was slightly tipsy) we just went in the stalls in the mens room. They don’t use them! The second time we went there were security guards saying we had to stand in the crazy line that went up stairs. Women were getting annoyed and when I asked why we couldn’t use them men’s room this guy was giving me all these crazy reasons (none of which made sense). They eventually left and it was a free-for-all but I was already at the front of the women’s line.

Zac Brown Concert

Eventually the sun started to set which meant that the main act would be going on soon!

Zac Brown Concert

Zac Brown puts on an awesome show. We danced and sang all night long.

Once the show was over we headed to the car. Of course we parked in a ditch area and Jill attempted to drive out over the curb but it was a no go. Cheryl and I got out to try and push and like 15 guys came over to help haha. Still she had to go all the way around to get out. Once we were on the highway we saw a bad accident (going the opposite direction) and then we hit construction traffic. It was a late night by the time we got home, but lots of fun!

Phillip Phillips/O.A.R
On Saturday we continued our concert trend and went down to PNC again for the Phillip Phillips and OAR concert. I love OAR. They came to our college senior year and I met them (I was on Campus Activities Board) and they put on a great show. I also love Phillip Phillips voice.

Phillip Phillips and OAR

We went down in the late afternoon (around 4) because I figured it would be packed like Thursday. Well it was not…not yet anyway. We got a good spot under some shade and tailgated for a while. The lot started filling up as it got later, but nowhere near as many people as Thursday.

We were sure if there was an opening act and we wanted to see both of the co-headliners so we went in on time. The lawn was barely full so we got a decent spot to sit.

Phillip Phillips and OAR

The lawn got crowded, but it was comfortable.

Phillip Phillips and OAR

While we were watching the opening act (yes there was one) I was people watching. The highlight of my night was watching these two security guards CONTINUOUSLY bust this group of underage kids. They kept going over an carding them, reprimanding them, and taking their beers away. I still have no clue how they were getting beers but after 3 times you think they would just give up! My hero!

Phillip Phillips and OAR

As the sun went down Phillip Phillips started first. He was good, but he just kept jammin. I don’t mind a jam session, but not your whole set. I wanted more songs!

Then O.A.R. came on. They are so good in concert. We were singing and dancing all night long.

Phillip Phillips and OAR

We had an annoying group of kids next to us. By the end of the night they were drunk and kept slamming into us and dancing all over our blanket. If it was more crowded I wouldn’t have cared, but there was SO MUCH SPACE. I just said whatever and did my own thing. No reason to let annoying people ruin your night!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

It’s ELECTRIC!

So this past weekend was a pretty eventful and fun one. For the first time in weeks we were in Jersey on Friday night. Also my friend Marissa happened to be visiting. We decided to head over to Chevy’s for some drinks. I got the bulldog. I had one just like it in Miami. I must say I wasn’t a fan of the Chevy’s one. The drink is supposed to be a margarita with a corona in it. There was barely any margarita so it just tasted like a sweet corona, but it was ok.

After we were also able to see a few of our other Jersey friends we have been neglecting. All in all a good night with great people!

On Saturday morning Cheryl and I woke up early to head to Crunch in NYC for a spin class being done by SELF. They asked people their favorite summer songs and then made a master mix for the class. It was seriously the best spin class I have ever taken. I was so into it and my legs almost gave out at one point I was pushing myself so hard. The instructor was great too. I wish they had more people sign up though it was so fun! After Cheryl and I decided to continue on our healthy day by getting Juice Press for lunch. It was delicious and so filling. Not sure if I could ever do an actual juice cleanse because I like food too much, but Cheryl just got a juicer so I may try it out to detox one weekend.

After we got home and got ready we headed to Philly for the Electric Run. We decided to pregame at our friend’s place. They have an awesome roof deck looking out at the skyline. After my 4th beer I decided I would walk/run since it was an untimed fun run anyway.

The pregaming was awesome and it got us all pumped up. Because the start was far away and there wasn’t a lot of parking they stressed for people to carpool or take cabs to the start. We decided to take cabs. We got to the start line and had a blast. Everyone had glow sticks and neon glow in the dark paint. It was awesome and we were all so ready to race and have a good time.

That is when things started to go downhill. As the first wave was starting we saw storm clouds rolling in. After 15 minutes no one else had started running the race and I was getting ancy. It was hot standing right next to all these people. We formed a chain and weaved our way out to the side. That is when we started seeing the lightning. As we got to the start corral we saw all these people running toward us away from the start. They said the race was cancelled because of the lightning storm rolling in and to leave ASAP. The worst part was we didn’t have a car! 12,000 people at the start line and half of them took cabs. We searched for a few minutes then gave up and started walking back. We had to walk along the Schuykill River. Cheryl and I do long runs there all the time and when we realized where we were we knew it was going to be a long trip back. We started jogging/running at first. Then they sky opened up and it was downpouring on us. Not to mention lighting was flashing all around us. We were petrified and started sprinting to find shelter. There was a random tent but once we realized it was made of metal we kept going. Finally after 4 miles we got to the Art Museum and the rain started to taper off. We were tired, cold and soaking wet. Not to mention I hadn’t eaten and it was 10:30 at this point! We all headed to the closest place we could find which was a TGI Friday’s and got food and tried to dry off. After we ate everyone was so worn down we all decided to head home and crash.

The pregame up to the start of the lightning storm was so fun. I really wish we had been able to run the race. Now they are going to “reschedule” but I just want my money back. The novelty has worn off.

On Sunday we woke up and started planning our Grand Canyon adventure we are taking in August. I cannot wait and the post after that will be epic! Then we got ready and headed down to Susquehanna Bank Center to see Zach Brown Band. We tailgated with my friend’s friends in the police/military lot. It was fun. It randomly rained on us but after the night I had before I couldn’t care.

The show was great. There were a few songs he didn’t play, but he did most of his great ones and I was happy. I was even happier because where we parked we were able to get out of the lot fast and hit the road before there was a lot of traffic. A 2 hour drive home after such a long weekend is rough. So is being up for work today, but it was a great weekend!

Motivation Monday: SoCo

Still thinking about the Andrew McMahon concert from last week.

While on Pinterest today I searched for Something Corporate and I was in shock that the quote I did a while ago showed up quite a few times with different people repinning it. That’s why I love Pinterest. Your ideas and creativity can be shown to so many people!

Something Corporate

 

So today I decided to make another image with a quote from their song Konstantine. It is one of their most famous songs and rarely was ever played live because the song is so long. Andrew must have known how many people love the song though because he played it at his show last week.

Throwback Thursday – Something Corporate

When I was a junior in high school we had a film festival. I was in CAST and everyone had to make a film. We decided to collaborate with my friend Brandon and he had a song in mind from a band he recently started listening to. The band was Something Corporate and the song was Konstantine. The idea was unrequited love of two friends. We filmed Frank singing the song in a parking garage all night. I think it took until 3am. He didn’t know the lyrics so we had to keep re-shooting. The rest we did all over Clifton with our other friends. Being that it is such a long song we really could tell a story. Watch the video here.

The band started in Orange County, California in 1998. The lead singer is my all time favorite musician Andrew McMahon.

Something Corporate{Source}

Andrew was unique because not only was he the lead singer. He also played the piano. I dubbed the genre of this band Piano Rock.

Andrew McMahon{Source}

I mean he seriously rocked out. Most times he stood up or stood on the piano! Don’t believe me? This is my favorite song. The band had almost an underground following. They weren’t on the radio, but they were pretty popular (at least in PA)

In 2004 the band took a hiatus. During that time Andrew started wiritng with a side band called Jack’s Mannequin. Andrew changed up his look a little as well.

Jack's Mannequin{Source}

In 2005 I heard very sad news. Andrew had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but has since gone into remission.

Andrew McMahon

In 2009 Andrew started touring again. This time it was just him and his piano. The shows were small and intimate. Cheryl and I drove to Philly to see him at World Live Cafe. (Sorry for the crappy photo)

Andrew McMahon World Live Cafe

In 2010 Andrew announced that Something Corporate would be having a reunion tour at Bamboozle in California. I honestly contemplated getting a plane ticket just to see Something Corporate perform one more time together. As luck would have it a few weeks later they announced they would also be playing in Chicago and East Rutherford, NJ! I grew out of Bamboozle, but I roughed it in the hot sun with the high school kids just to see SoCo play together again <3

Something Corporate Bamboozle NJ

Since then all I have had to listen to was my CD’s of Something Coporate and Jack’s Mannequin. I followed bothon Facebook, but in August of last year Jack’s Mannequin started posting about AndrewMcMahon.com with new merchandise and news. Andrew is now touring solo singing BOTH Something Coporate and Jack’s Mannequin songs. He is also in the process of releasing his first solo album The Pop Underground.

Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin both had different vibes to their music, but the one thing they had in common was Andrew. My goal in life is to meet that man one day.

Yesterday Cheryl and I dragged out friend Ray with us to Philadelphia to the TLA to see Andrew play. It was an amazing concert. More Jack’s then SoCo but he did play Konstantine and it made my night.

I mean how can you not love this man.

Andrew McMahon

His wife is one lucky lady!

Throwback Thursday – RENT!

In 1996 one of the most amazing musicals I have ever seen hit broadway. That musical was RENT. It is a rock musical written by Jonathan Larson, based on the opera La Boheme. It tells the story of a group of struggling young artists and musicians trying to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. One of the saddest thing was that the creator Jonathan Larson died suddenly the night before the off-Broadway premiere. He never got to see how his work inspired and touched millions of people. It won a Tony Award for Best Musical and closed in 2008 after a 12-year run.

Fans of the show were known to be called RENT-heads. Everyday people would camp outside the theatre to try to get the $20 day-of tickets. The tickets were for the first two rows of the theatre and were given out by a lottery. While these RENT-heads were camped out (sometimes overnight) they would write on the wall outside the Nederlander Theater. This wall was eventually a symbol of the impact the show had on people. Sadly when the show closed in 2008 the wall was repainted :( I did have my name on that wall for quite some time though. From 2005-2008.

Nederlander Theatre RENT Wall{Source}

I do consider myself a RENT-head. I think total I saw the show about 10 times. All with different casts and each one was just as amazing as the time before.

In 2005 RENT came to the silver screen. Using most of the original cast, besides a few, we couldn’t wait for the movie to premiere. At this point I was in college and most of my friends had an equal love for RENT. One day we heard that the cast of the movie would be doing a meet and greet in NYC at a bookstore. The first 100 people in line got to meet them and got a free poster to get signed. I was devastated when I realized I had a final that morning. My sister and my friend Erin decided to drive the 3 hours to NYC from school at 12am to wait in line outside Barnes and Noble in Times Square.

The greatest thing ever happened that day though. I got a call as I was leaving class from Cheryl saying they were driving back to school and to be ready. They were able to get me a wristband to meet the cast! They drove all the way back to school, picked me up, and we headed straight back to NYC to meet them. It was such an awesome experience and I still have my poster framed in my room. Sadly the only one not there was Jesse L. Martin who played Collins.

In November 2005 the movie premiered in NYC at the famous Ziegfeld Theatre. When we heard about it we made sure to get tickets. I think every one of my friends that wanted to go was online or on the phone and we got tickets! It wasn’t the cast premiere it was the fan premiere. We even made our own RENT shirts!

While waiting outside for the movie we even met Rosario Dawson’s mom!

It was an amazing night and we loved the movie. I bought it as soon as it came out on DVD.

Cheryl and I also went to the Today Show concert where the cast performed.

RENT Today Show{Source}

And we tried to get tickets to the benefit concert they had in honor of Jonathan Larson. We sat outside the theatre all day but non of us were chosen for the lottery.

One of my prized possessions (also framed in my room) is my signed Playbill by Anthony Rapp.

RENT has been a big part of my life. I can’t really relate to the characters on every level. I have never been poor or struggling as much as them. The reason I love RENT is the story it tells of people being able to overcome struggle, no matter what life throws at them. The one line that most people around the world know is the theme to the show. No Day But Today. This is your one life and you need to live it to the fullest. If not today, then when?

Where you invest your love, you invest your life

So last night I had the joy of going to the Mumford & Sons concert at the new Brooklyn Barclays Center.

Mumford & Sons

[Source]

I first heard Mumford & Sons a few years ago from my sister. She commutes to work and listens to Pandora a lot and had heard their song “Little Lion Man” one day and got hooked. My first reaction was “Shit these guys are awesome” then I heard the banjo and really how can you not love them?

In case you have never heard them (and that really is something you need to change ASAP) here is one of my favorite songs. Little Lion Man was the first song I heard by them and to this day remain my favorite. Off their new album Babel the song Hopeless Wanderer is my new second favorite. Here is a live performance of it from Bonaroo in 2011.

Here is a little history for you. Mumford & Sons are from London, England. Their music is considered folk rock and their band consists of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboard, accordian, drums), Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo <3, guitar) and Ted Dwane (vocals, string bass, drums, guitar). I mean the amount of instruments each guy plays is crazy, they are so talented. Their first album , Sigh No More, was released in the UK in October 2009 and in the US in February 2010. In 2011 they got 2 Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Song (Little Lion Man). Their performance at the 2011 Grammys though increased their popularity. I can’t find any good versions of this performance to link to but it was awesome. Their second album, Babel, was released in September 2012 and this year they won Album of the Year at the Grammys. [Source]

Last year I was ecstatic when I found out they would FINALLY be playing on the East Coast. Up until then they were only touring Europe and doing TV show performances. Their first performance in the tri-state area would be in Hoboken, NJ on Pier A. At first I was concerned about the pier venue especially because of how fast the tickets sold out. But on a cooler August day we headed down to Hoboken to finally see them perform live. Seriously one of the best outdoor concerts I have ever been to. We danced and sang in the grass with a big group of friends and the end of the show was topped off with fireworks!

Their 2013 tour sold out just as quickly. They actually had 2 shows last week in Brooklyn, but opened a third last night when those sold out in minutes. The Barclays Center was an ok venue. We were in the 200 sections and the rows were very small and close together. One wrong step you felt like you could plummet down to the bottom. Also the atmosphere was different. Being in an arena as opposed to outside hindered dancing around. Most of the people around us did really enjoy themselves and the show was amazing. I love seeing thousands of people coming together to enjoy music.

I can’t wait for them to go on tour in our area again. And maybe next time it will be another outdoor summer concert! Even though we were not close to the stage I was still able to get this awesome photo. Who is a favorite band/artist of yours?