Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breakfast of Cha-Cha-Champions

I may or may not have just had Easy Cheese on Wheat Thins for breakfast.
Let it be known how hard it was not to call this Cheez Whiz.
Crackers and Cheez Whiz.
The actual Cheez Whiz, while whimsically named, tastes disgusting.
I'm starting a petition for an Easy Cheese name change.

Take that look off your face, Judgey McGee.
I don't judge you for the chemically processed pseudo-cheese products you eat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Heart to Heart: A Fauxhemian Fairytale, Part II

Didja miss Part I? Find it here.

 So where were we? Ah, yes. The actual meat of the concert: the pre-game. And by "pre-game," dear readers, I do not mean the "cool" kind of pre-game where you get together at Joe Beer-Fridge's house and pound shots of Military Special vodka (this is not my idea of a "cool" pre-game anyway, seeing as I can taste the potatoes in Military Special). Our pre-game involved blankets, food, and opening acts no one is paying attention to.

The typical Friend-me-on-Myspace local guitar hero, aka,
The Opening Act.
We packed a picnic basket and sweet-talked it through security (well, I sweet-talked and sweetly showed the security guard all of my tin-foiled culinary prowess, Derrick just calmly stated the website said nothing about food and informed them we had no beverages). Apparently if you have lawn seats, they don't care what you bring. As it should be. I should have the right to enjoy whatever the hell food I want if I'm paying $7 for 8 oz of cheap wine and I'm surrounded by drunken middle-aged people who stand awkwardly close to my blanket and say things like "I WONDER WHEN THEY'RE GOING TO PLAY CRAZY ON YOU. CRAZY ON YOU IS A GREAT SONG. MAN, I LOVE THAT SONG. (thirty seconds later, to no one) YEP, I LOVE THAT SONG."

Allow me to describe your typical Heart concert-goers.
  •  All are middle-aged white people. They also go see Journey and REO Speedwagon and their wedding song was Faithfully (I respect this decision). 
  • Among these concertgoers, we have: the recent divorcees on Girl's Night Out in the tightest jeans they can shove their MILF legs into (do not get me wrong, many of these divorcees have a body 80x better than I do. I am showing respect, admiration, and a touch of jealousy). 
  • We have the couple holding hands and rekindling their relationship by singing along softly to "Dog and Butterfly," leaning into each other's arms.
  • We have the Guy Behind Me already on his 6th $10 Coors Lite.
  • We have Woman 3 Rows In Front Of Me who is possibly a little tipsy, is the only one standing in the entire lawn section, and dances her way through the entire concert,even the new songs a few good Samaritan audience members pretend to care about.. I kind of loved her. I wanted to go dance with her, but the recent divorcees beat me to it after their third wine cooler. 
  • Finally, we have the accompanying offspring of the middle-aged white people who think Heart is kinda cool but they'd still sell their entire Seventeen magazine collection for some Justin Bieber concert tickets. These are the ones who spend the ENTIRE CONCERT facing backwards on their parents' blanket, staring slack-jawed at The Only People Over 15 and Under 40 At The Entire Concert.
That would be me and Derrick, in case you weren't paying attention.
I couldn't tell if they were:
  • horrified that we, self-respecting twentysomethings with no horrible deformities or apparent mental disorders, were caught dead at a Heart concert instead of say...whoever the kids are listening to these days. BonnapaloozaLilithFest, I don't know.
  • fascinated that we, self-respecting twentysomethings with no horrible deformities or apparent mental disorders of a legal drinking and driving age, were sitting that close to them and they wanted to see How the Cool Kids Lived and Pre-gamed (they being young, innocent, and unaware of the blindness-inducing flavor of Military Special).
  • were actually watching Drunk Guy Behind Me and I have a horrible judge of who's staring at me and who's staring at awkward concertgoers with crappy taste in beer.
  • admiring the hotness of Derrick, who with his chiseled good looks, charm, and clothes-so-preppy-even-J.-Crew-would-defer-to-him-at-the-Country-Club would just about be every tween's dream. I debated slipping them his number, but I knew it would just end up in heartbreak when they found out he didn't have the charm and painfully scripted dialogue of the Wizards of Waverly Place.

Also, because Derrick would kill me.

What a badass.

But enough about tweens. Let's move on to what all of you (none of you) really care about: picnic fare. We had...

Shrimp that we grilled and then stuffed in...

 Spinach and cheese quesadillas!

Pasta salad with rotisserie chicken, olives, and tomatoes...

and strawberries!

And even though we were seated all the way up in Egypt...

 I had an amazing time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heart to Heart: A Fauxhemian Fairytale, Part I

Once upon a time, back when MTV was slowly transitioning from being the video that killed the radio star to the station that killed thousands of reputations and brain cells through programming like "The Real World," there was one hope for middle-aged people who would frown, shake their head at the MTV shenanigans, and deliver various head-shaking lectures about How Music Used To Be and how Kids These Days With Their Hipping and Their Hopping and Their Bipping and Their Bopping and Their Pants So Low You Can See Their Underwear.

No, that hope was not Bill Cosby stand-up on cassette.

That hope was VH1 Behind the Music.

Long before Rock of Love or For the Love of Ray J, there was this show steeped heavily in nostalgia and rehab that rehashed the triumphs, tragedies, and multiple overdoses of popular artists. Of course, "popular artists" usually meant "80's hair bands," because let's face it, the shenanigans of ACDC or Def Leppard made for better ratings than, say, Captain & Tennille.

"Yes, Nicki," you say, "We know about Behind the Music. We've all seen More Cowbell. That doesn't explain your random posting of poor quality concert photos with a Japanese Anime drummer, a middle-aged redheaded guitarist, and Rosanne Barr with 80's hair and black leggings?

Well, dear readers, I used to LOVE Behind the Music. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was one of the few programs my stepfather would religiously watch that wasn't a fishing show, a hunting show, or Emeril.

(Let the record show that I now love Emeril, but as a child I just didn't appreciate Emeril's Essence, his BAMs, and his uncanny ability to charm female audience members over 35.)
My favorite band to watch on Behind the Music was always Heart. My stepdad and I share (and still today share) a mutual respect of the Wilson sisters, probably because they were pretty females with  talent and a hard and fast Zeppelin-inspired sound. I misread their post-hippie 70's mary-janed rock aesthetic as gypsies, or rather, what I wanted gypsies to look like (as previously discussed). Plus, what kid wouldn't love singing along to "Barracuda" (or if you were me, the only words you knew in "Barracuda:" dun dada dun dada dun dada dun DUN DUN and the occasional screamed Ba-ra-CUUUUU-DA!")?

So when I turned not-so-sweet 15 (what birthday's more awkward than 15? Oh. 14), my stepfather racked his brain, went out, and bought me Dreamboat Annie. To this day, it is still my favorite album of all time (imagine my joy & rapture when I discovered it on vinyl for $2 at a thrift store a couple weeks ago).  I went on to collect more albums and still obsessively search for more every time I visit a new yard sale or thrit store.

But back to the grainy, poor quality pics at the beginning of this post. Ah, my friends. Ah, my dear friends. Those pictures are from the Heart concert I went to last Friday. Yes, that Rosanne-lookalike is the same Ann Wilson pictured on Dreamboat Annie. I will say this: Ann still has the best voice in rock-and-roll. She did not head the same direction as Stevie She-who-sounds-like-goats Nicks.

Ann's stage presence....well....oh, Ann.

Look at how fierce Ann Wilson was back in 1977 (fierce as in hot and tigress-like, not fierce as in the Tyra Banksian version of crazy)
So Ann did a lot of standing around and bobbing her still-in-1985 hair.
Nancy, by the way, still has IT. Star quality. Awesome hair. Amazing energy.  She WORKED the stage.

Don't let my catty bitching about Ann give you the wrong idea. I had an AMAZING time...a time that shall be chronicled in Part II because this blog post has already exceeded the point of human endurance.